A Bideford licensee has been fined for persistently contravening a condition of his pub licence. Barnstaple magistrates were told that environmental health officers from Torridge District Council had monitored noise levels in a flat adjacent to Quigley

A Bideford licensee has been fined for persistently contravening a condition of his pub licence. Barnstaple magistrates were told that environmental health officers from Torridge District Council had monitored noise levels in a flat adjacent to Quigleys Custom House and found them to be excessive.Licensee Paul Hussey was fined £1,200 and costs of £1,000 were awarded to the council.The court heard that a condition of the licence stated that music noise from Quigleys would not be audible in nearby premises.The council had written to Mr Hussey on a number of occasions warning him about unacceptably loud music and a Noise Abatement Notice was issued in May, 2008. But problems continued.Councillor Andy Boyd, chairman of Torridge's licensing committee, said: "This result sends a strong, clear message to the licensed trade that licence conditions are important and must be taken seriously by licensees. "There are no excuses for failing to comply with licence conditions. In this particular case, music noise from the pub had a substantial and long-lasting impact on the quality of life of a nearby resident which was totally unacceptable and the council had to take action in the public interest."Tony Nicholls, the council's licensing manager, said: "We take great pains to work constructively with the licensed trade and prefer to educate licence holders about the law rather than enforce. The vast majority of our licence holders manage their premises responsibly and in accordance with the conditions of their licences, but a small minority seem to think they can flout the regulations. In these cases, the council has no alternative but to take robust enforcement action."Ray Webster, head of Environmental Health and Public Protection, said: "We recognise that publicans have a right to make a living and the entertainment provided by pubs forms an important part of our local culture. However, this has to be balanced against the rights of local residents whose quality of life should not suffer as a result of irresponsible behaviour by a licensee."The council is working with the Bideford Licensees' Association to promote high standards of operation in licensed premises throughout the district. Licensees who want more information and advice about any aspect of licensing laws should contact the council's Licensing Team on (01237) 428991, 428917 or 428979 or e-mail licensing@torridge.gov.uk.