A CONTROVERSIAL application for an extended drinks and entertainment licence for a pub in Clayton-le-Moors has been granted despite a barrage of complaints from a neighbour.
The Old England Forever, in Church Street, can now serve alcohol from 11am to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays and from noon to midnight on Sundays.
It can also stage live music events between 11am and 11pm from Monday to Thursday, from 11am to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and from noon to 11.30pm on Sundays, subject to a number of conditions.
Noise levels will be controlled by a limiting device that will be set at a level agreed between Hyndburn Council's Environmental Health Department and the applicant, pub giant Pyramid Pub Management Ltd, as the pub is flanked by terraced houses.
Hyndburn Council's Licensing Committee heard how neighbour Martin Clough has been complaining about the noise levels since 2001 and, even though one of the pub's walls has been sound-proofed at a cost of £40,000, the problem still persists.
In a letter to the committee, he said: "We are often wakened by taxis leaving the premises noisily at 3.30am. If you extend the licensing hours, it will not help matters.
"And on warm nights customers drink on the street, causing a noise nuisance which is not helped by the pub windows and doors being left open."
But licensee Patricia Thompson, who has been managing the pub since April with the help of her partner Janet Walshaw, said they have worked very hard to change the pub around. She said: "Mr Clough has never come to us and complained and if he had we would have turned down the music straightaway. We are not here to cause trouble with the neighbours and feel that the pub has really improved since we've been here.
"Also we have had no complaints from the police, we are part of the Clayton Pub Watch scheme and we honestly were not aware that there was a problem at all.
"This pub had a bad reputation when we first came but we have put in a lot of work to change that and really feel that it is working."
The committee decided to grant the application on condition that any taxi firm advertising in the pub must not cause a disturbance when picking up customers and the disposal of refuse and deliveries will only take place between 8am and 6pm.