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Harwich bar has licence suspended after noise complaints


A Harwich nightspot has had its licence suspended for three months by Tendring District Council (TDC) over excessive loud music causing public nuisance.

Wick’s Bar, located in Midland House, in the High Street and run by Enterprise Harwich Bar Ltd, was reviewed by TDC’S Licensing Sub-Committee following a request by the authority’s Environmental Health team, supported by the council’s Licensing Team, Essex Police, local councillors and several residents.

Environmental officers had investigated the venue after a series of complaints about excessive noise beyond 11pm.

Local residents had told the council they suffered from a lack of sleep due to noise at the venue, fear of damage to their cars, and patrons urinating in their gardens.

During a hearing held on Friday (17 November), the sub-committee was told how several monitoring visits had been carried out and advice given to the landlord on how to reduce the volume of music inside, and the noise from rowdy crowds drinking outside.

In addition, the committee heard that Essex Police had also visited the bar on numerous occasions following reports of fights, and found evidence of drug use in the venue’s toilets.

The nightspot is owned by the Flying Trade Group Ltd, who following the launch of the licence review has applied to TDC to transfer the premises licence away from its current operator, and removed the previous Designated Premises Supervisor.

After considering the evidence presented at the hearing, the sub-committee ruled that venue’s licence would be suspended for three months due to breaches of the licensing objectives around preventing crime and disorder, and public nuisance.

The sub-committee has been so concerned about the operation of the premises that it had actively considered revoking the licence altogether.

Ann Wiggins, who chaired the sub-committee, said the decision was necessary to protect the public.

“We welcome a vibrant night-time economy in Tendring, but venues must not contribute to or cause a public nuisance, crime and disorder or anti-social behaviour, and sadly that was the case here,” Councillor Wiggins said.

“Numerous visits from our officers and those from Essex Police, advice given and an action plan were all ignored by the venue’s management, demonstrating this has been ill-managed for some time. TDC Licensing officers found breaches of the requirements over the same period of time.

“While we welcome the change of management and approach at the venue from the overall owners, we felt we had no choice but to suspend the licence for a period of time due to the severity of the issues raised. We also hope new conditions will prevent such issues re-occurring and causing a nuisance for the local community.”

The sub-committee also imposed new licence conditions on the venue including earlier closing times, reduced outside usage, and a 30-minute quiet no music period before closing. The conditions were largely agreed to in advance of the hearing by the overall owner.

The venue suspension will come into effect following the end of an appeal period, during which time the venue management can challenge the decision.

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