Noise row pub couple hit back

A COUPLE running a Sheffield pub are planning to appeal after being ordered to install noise abatement equipment costing thousands of pounds following complaints from neighbours.

Landlady Clare Sanders and partner Graham Amos, who took over the Springfield Tavern, in Broomspring Lane, Broomhall, last year, spoke out after a licence review hearing by Sheffield Council - the first of its kind in Sheffield.

The council's licensing board was considering complaints from 10 residents of Broomspring Lane, Glossop Road and Wilkinson Street that the pub was causing a "public nuisance".

Owners of a business in Glossop Road had also objected about noise.

Neighbours, headed by Michael and Carole Barrowclough and Kathleen Lawson, of Broomspring Lane, who wrote letters themselves and on behalf of the other residents, claimed there had been loud noise, arguing and disturbances, people singing on microphones "at all hours of the night" and constant barking from dogs kept at the pub.

At yesterday's meeting the committee had a number of options ranging from placing limits on the amount of noise to revoking the pub's licence completely.

Councillors decided to allow the pub to continue to stay open until midnight between Sunday and Thursday, and 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

But Ms Sanders and Mr Amos were also told to install expensive equipment which turns off loudspeakers whenever the back door to the beer garden is opened.

Mr Amos said: "It will cost us thousands - but the noise people were complaining about was coming from the front of the pub.

"If there were problems why did the police make no objections when we applied to extend our licence. If our pub was being run so badly they would surely have had hundreds of complaints.

"When we took over we had live bands and karaoke to attract customers but we have now had to cancel them. Yet when you go outside even if the music is on full volume you cannot hear it.

"The only reason the people further down the road are affected is because they live over old wells which carry the sound."

"I've been in the trade for 25 years and run much rougher pubs but I have never had such petty and stupid complaints."

Ms Sanders said: "We have done a lot for the community. When we were at our last pub, The Hanover, in Clark Street, we used to organise the Broomhall Festival."

The couple's latest effort is a collection which has so far raised 600 towards Christmas presents for youngsters at Sheffield Children's Hospital.

They insist paying for the new sound controls is a "no-go area" because it would cost too much, and are planning to appeal to Sheffield Magistrates' Court.

Regular customer and professional pool player Terry Hunt, aged 41, of Richmond, said: "I've been to pubs all over England and never been to such a nice place. You never see fights or anyone shouting."

An 80-signature petition from regulars and some happier neighbours was presented to the licensing board in support of the pub.

Following the meeting Mr and Mrs Barrowclough declined to comment and Miss Lawson was unavailable for comment.

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