New licensing laws - first pub appeal refused

Updated: 23 November 2005

A popular local pub was denied an extension to its evening opening hours today just before the new licensing laws go live at midnight tonight (Wednesday).

The Coach and Horses in Rickmansworth was refused an extension on appeal by Hemel Hempstead Magistrates Court in the first case against Three Rivers District Council's licensing decisions under the new Licensing Act. The case was also the very first appeal to be considered under the new laws by Hemel Hempstead Magistrates Court.

A report from the Magistrates Court says that:

"Before us we have a substantial weight of evidence of late night noise and unacceptable behaviour by customers of the Coach and Horses provided by a large number of objectors.

"This noise and behaviour is at a low level - by which we mean it consists of shouting, some scrapping, car door slamming and engine revving, not to mention inappropriate emptying of bladders and stomachs and the like - which is not individually at a level which attracts the attention of the police or the environmental health officers.

"Nevertheless it is sufficient in aggregate to disturb the local residents substantially, some of whom live cheek by jowl with the pub, at an hour they can reasonably expect to be undisturbed."

A spokesperson for Three Rivers District Council said:

"People are entitled to a good night's sleep. The aims of the new laws are to prevent crime and disorder, promote public safety, prevent nuisance and protect children from harm. The District Council will continue to consider all applications for extension rigorously and give full weight to the concerns of local residents."

Seventy three objections were made by local people.

The new laws are implemented under the Licensing Act 2003.