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'I hope this will set the tone' - pub given chance to prove itself amid noise complaints

PUBLISHED: 16:27 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:27 11 June 2019

Warwick St Social. Photo: Supplied by James Watkins

Warwick St Social. Photo: Supplied by James Watkins

Supplied by James Watkins

An events organiser has said he hopes a tone has now been set whereby pubs can continue to diversify and promote culture by working alongside the city council.

James Watkins is the new business development manager. Picture: Warwick Street SocialJames Watkins is the new business development manager. Picture: Warwick Street Social

Management of the Warwick Street Social in Norwich's Golden Triangle was hauled before a licensing sub-committee this week after noise complaints put question marks over two upcoming events at the pub.

The pub was seeking temporary event notices for two weekends this month, scheduled to feature live acoustic music, family activities and food - to be hosted in its garden.

But after previous events in May received complaints from neighbours, the city council's own environmental health team initially objected to the applications.

However at a meeting on Wednesday, James Watkins, the venue's business manager, was able to convince councillors to give the pub a chance to prove itself at the weekend.

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The committee opted against cancelling the weekend's festivities, but deferred its decision on the second - pencilled in for June 29 and 30 - until afterwards, with officers set to keep an eye on noise this Saturday or Sunday.

Mr Watkins said he hoped this would send out a message to other venues looking to host events - in light of recent debate around noise pollution.

He said: "I hope this will set the tone for event organisers going forward and show the council is willing to working alongside us to keep culture alive.

"We are living in the Netflix and Tesco generation where they have access to so much more entertainment in their living rooms and it is cheaper to get alcohol to drink at home. For this reason pubs need to offer so much more than just alcohol and food to get people in.

"But from my experience, if you keep a close relationship with the local authority and work with them, you can be successful."

The hearing came at a time during which relations between venues and their neighbours has come a real talking point in the city - with conflicting petitions around the issue both in circulation.

But Mr Watkins added: "All we are trying to do is create a community and bring people together - hopefully we can 
now do this."

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