Should time be called on pub music?

A HISTORIC pub and music venue in Helston has shared an official letter from the council online warning of potential legal action and a £20,000 fine if they allow music to be played which is deemed too loud.

The Blue Anchor at Coinagehall Street has been the subject of complaints from nearby residents in recent years, believed to be from newer residents in the area.

With this year’s diary of events due to begin this week, the popular venue has warned musicians via their Facebook page that if they refuse to turn the music down or “…crank it up again later you will be asked to leave and we will not be paying your fee.”

It’s a disheartening situation when passionate and hard-working business owners feel forced to issue such instructions.

Yet who is to blame? Is it the venue for allowing live music to be played in a residential area? Or the complainant(s) for not understanding that living close to the pub may require a certain tolerance of occasional loud music? Or should a finger be pointed at the council for appearing to side with residents?

I can fully appreciate how it could be annoying living next door to a pub with loud music.

Yet I find it odd that anyone would move close to a 600 year-old pub which is famously known, and loved, for its regular live entertainment and then complain about the noise.

Personally, it would not bother me in the slightest as I grew up in a flat above a noisy London boozer followed by a move with my parents to a busy hotel in Helston hosting regular parties and events. If the noise had bothered us, we wouldn’t have moved there in the first place or we would have first checked the level of soundproofing within the property.

The renowned pub arrived long before any of the current nearby residents and the question raised is whether the enjoyment of many people in the community is in danger due to the complaints of the few?

If live music was a recent addition to the venue and a sudden change to the lives of residents living nearby, I could fully understand. But Helston town centre has been noisy for as long as I can remember and centuries long before.

If The Blue Anchor has to stop most of its live entertainment it will be a huge blow to the town. Too many popular live venues have closed across the country in recent years due to similar complaints.

A further question raised is where does it stop? What if somebody moves next to a farm and starts complaining about the smell of manure or the sound of cows mooing? Or those who live by the beach start complaining about the sound of waves?

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