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Landlord slams council for unhelpful attitude towards live music
A PUB landlord has said he is fed up with the attitude of district council officials over holding music events in Piddington.
Wayne Mitchell took over The Dashwood Arms three years ago and said he has worked hard to keep it going.
To attract more customers he decided to hold music festivals. The first two festivals he held had complaints about noise, which the council investigated.
He said: "It came to the third one. I said I would like to apply for a licence to have six festivals a year with music up to 12am.
"They knew when they granted that licence I would never be able to keep to the perimeters within the council licence.
"I have since found out from them the perimeters are 15 decibels above background noise. They knew with live music I could not keep to that."
He was then given a noise abatement notice. Last week the Bucks Free Press reported on the council's investigation into the charity music event, Beechstock, over concerns there were too many people there. The meeting has been moved to October 2.
Mr Mitchell asked how many complaints there were, and was told it was seven over three years- he said this is compared with the thousands of people who have enjoyed the festivals.
He added: "The balance is really unfair."
The events have raised £5,000 to £6,000, mainly for Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance. He said he believes the council appears to want to fine people before helping people- as a form of revenue.
He added: "They are absolutely crushing performing arts in Wycombe and it is not fair."
Spokesman for Wycombe District Council, Catherine Spalton, said: "We have been assisting Mr Mitchell since complaints were received in 2011 from residents in Piddington regarding noise disturbance from outdoor music festivals at the Dashwood Arms.
"Unfortunately, despite our advice, Mr Mitchell did not comply with national guidance on noise control at concerts and subsequent monitoring has concluded that a statutory nuisance existed and a noise abatement notice was served. It is Mr Mitchell’s responsibility to manage noise levels so as not to cause a disturbance to local residents.
"Mr Mitchell was granted a licence to hold six outdoor events per year, which he agreed to. Mr Mitchell has the right to apply to have this condition removed if he so wishes, but for the last three years has chosen not to. Mr Mitchell’s comment about the 15 db noise level refers to the noise level above background at the neighbouring residential properties, not the level at the festival.
"We do not make any money out of fining people. We will always try and work with organisers to secure a favourable outcome and only take legal action as a last resort."
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