A pub has been given permission to hold a Halloween party this weekend – but councillors have warned it must prove it is “capable and competent” to address concerns about noise.
The Cricketers in Arthur Street in Gravesend has been granted a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) for the fancy-dress celebration, meaning it can remain open until 2am on Sunday morning.
The application was supported by Gravesham Borough Council’s licensing panel despite the authority’s own environmental health department's objection to the proposal.
One resident who lives near the pub has already submitted complaints, accusing it of having “ridiculously loud music”, allowing “yelling” at televised football and being more “like a nightclub”.
Anita Bray, the council’s senior environmental health technician, said: “The pub is located in a residential area, and an event past the licensed hours would exacerbate the situation.
“It is considered that a DJ playing amplified music and the customers using the rear garden late at night in this area would cause a public nuisance.”
Mandeep Manik, the pub’s designated premises supervisor, tried to alleviate fears by telling the panel that the DJ will only play until 11.30pm on Saturday night and it was likely the pub would close by 1am.
He also told members a number of changes had been made since the complaints – including turning off music earlier, actively engaging with louder customers, and considering whether to hire door staff at weekends.
Addressing the panel, he said: “We can have the extra couple of hours to relax, and we’re not going to make too much noise. Most of the people will be gone after the DJ finishes.
“It’s good to know about the issues because then I can get to the bottom of it.
"It makes me more wary when people are making noise, so I can do something about it.
“I do try and tell them to respect the neighbours as much as I can, but people do get a bit drunk – and that is how it is.”
Mr Manik said no new customers will be allowed to get into the pub after 11pm, adding he bolts the door if the bar is busy. He has been advised to check if this is acceptable to the fire brigade.
Panel chairman Cllr Steve Thompson (Lab) concluded: “This decision does not mean we’re not taking the complaints seriously.
“I would strongly advise you see this TEN as an opportunity to demonstrate to your neighbours, to our environmental health department, and licensing department that you are a capable and competent and strong licensee and bar manager.
“Not wanting to pre-determine any future panel decision, but if a future panel was to convene with regards to your premises licence, any problems on Saturday evening would be detrimental to your situation.”