Fife pub has licence restricted after more than 50 noise complaints

A pub in Fife has had its licence restricted after more than 50 noise complaints were received in a six month period.

Marvicks, in Leven, will no longer be able to play music – live or recorded – after 11pm after the council received 54 noise complaints, 11 of which were in just a one month period.

Fife Licensing Board was told that over the festive period, a recording device was placed in a complainant’s flat, which confirmed on several occasions the noise from the pub was “very intrusive”, according to licensing standards officers.

The pub owners had previously been called to the board on a number of occasions due to noise complaints.

Douglas Hardaker, LSO officer, said: “Staff  are not controlling the noise despite advice from the council. They are causing a public nuisance. The LSOs have no reason to expect staff will control the sound levels, and they have expressed no desire to do this. The situation has dragged on far too long. LSOs feel they are being ignored by the staff, and the claims there is an agenda against them are completely false.”

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However, a solicitor for Marviks argued that they had attempted to reduce the noise in a number of ways.

DJs were given sound levels to stay within, and a number of sound proofing measures were put in place. Mr Billy Smith, the owner’s brother, who is also a sound engineer, said that on a number of occasions he visited the bar to make sure that the music wasn’t too loud.

But Mr Hardaker said that, while they set a level for sound, a level for vocal wasn’t set, leading to nearby flats often hearing patrons singing along to music.

Mr Hardaker said: “While the doors opening and closing increase the noise heard, the music is still a constant in the background. You can hear the beat of the bass over the traffic passing by, which surprised me. The only explanation is that the music is being played louder than it should be.”

The representative disputed this claim, saying that all staff knew their jobs would be at risk if they were found to have increased the volume. The bar also added that it had already restricted live music and karaoke in an effort to reduce complaints.

Board members found that noise levels were still causing a detrimental effect on neighbouring properties and agreed to restrict music in the bar. Marviks can reapply to have its music licence extended again in the future.

However, local resident Byron de Sousa said that this measure didn’t go far enough, adding: “It still means I will be hearing this loud music until 11pm, meaning I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep before that. They haven’t followed noise limits before – and based on their track record it is unlikely they will stick to this either.”

The board decided to continue his complaint until the February meeting, to see if the current restrictions were sufficient.