Petition to save live music launched by Peterborough pub after being served with council notice signed by 1,000

More than 1000 people have signed a petition launched by a Peterborough pub left ‘feeling ignored’ by the council over complaints about noise pollution.
The Woolpack, Stanground.The Woolpack, Stanground.
The Woolpack, Stanground.

On Thursday (May 20), The Woolpack in Stanground was issued with an abatement order from Peterborough City Council about its live music events.

The order required the noise levels to be reduced or to cease immediately.

Failure to do so could incur a penalty of up to £10,000.

The Woolpack's outside area.The Woolpack's outside area.
The Woolpack's outside area.
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Landlord David Nightingale was particularly angry at this letter as he had been trying to contact the council’s noise complaints department to work with them over a small number of complaints that had been made over the last 10 months.

He says that he has received no response to any of his calls or messages despite the council informing him that no adjustments needed to be made until an investigation has been completed.

He said: “We feel really let down by the council. It started last December when we were informed of a few complaints that had been made. We had a meeting with the council and were told that we didn’t need to take any action, such as installing decibel meters, but that they would carry out an investigation and get back to us.

“Then lockdown happened and we didn’t hear any more about it until this month when we were told that two more complaints had been made.

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“I immediately contacted the council again to ask if we could work together on this but received no reply to any of my voicemails or emails.

“Then three weeks later the noise abatement notice arrived and I was shocked.

“We have done everything we can, we have changed the times we have live music on to just 7pm-10pm on a Saturday rather than 9pm-11:30pm and we also laid back our acoustic sessions on Sunday from 2pm-5pm.

“We also turned the volume down and from my deceible meters the reading was higher when the blackbirds in the area started singing than when the acoustic sessions were on.

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“We have done everything we can, we banned under 25s because of the noise, we’ve shut earlier and turned the noise levels down.

“Anything we need to do to put on live music we are willing to do but we are not getting anything back from the council when we are trying so hard to work with them.

“What they don’t realise is that I will have to lay ten members of staff off if we can’t have live bands playing for just two-and-a-half hours a week anymore. It will have a massive impact.

“We are just working hard so that people can come out and have a good time, we are trying to keep the village culture alive. We are the only village pub left in Stanground and if we don’t stand up and do something then soon they will all be gone. People love to come out and listen to local bands, soon they will have nowhere to go.

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“I know that we are not the only pub going through this and we will be joining together to try and do something about this.”

David has started his own petition to save live music at the venue and within the first day it has received overwhelming support, with over 1000 people signing.

Many of these are near neighbours of the pub who are fully supportive of the pubs’ plans.

One commenter said: “I live about 30 yards from the pub and the music has never bothered me and my family. I have not been to the pub or met the landlord, however, he is running a business and after the last 15 months he deserves to do well in my eyes.”

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Another added: “Now more than ever we need music, especially live. If the Woolpack has made efforts to comply with restrictions then surely it can be accommodated that they continue with live music. We have lost so many things due to the pandemic, let us not lose a precious art.”

David added: “The support has brought me to tears, some of the kind words have been mind blowing. We’ve had nextdoor neighbours tell us that they don’t mind the music, it’s not too loud and that it stops at a reasonable hour.

“We know that it is a small number of people that are making these complaints and we are even in contact with them to try and work out a solution. We really hope that we can get this sorted.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesperson said: “The city council has a duty of care to protect residents against excessive noise. Prior to opening, our officers advised The Woolpack Pub that live music was likely to result in excessive noise disturbance if played in the marquee, due to the close proximity of residential housing, and events have since taken place contrary to the advice provided.

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“We have received multiple complaints regarding excessive noise which were investigated thoroughly, including engaging with the landlord as well as monitoring noise levels. Once there was evidence that a statutory noise nuisance had occurred, an abatement notice was served.