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Forest Inn pub in Ashurst could close following noise complaint over live bands

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THE landlady of an Ashurst pub has said it could be forced to close after New Forest District Council issued a noise abatement notice following a complaint about live music.

Jo Laver, who runs the pub with her husband Ian, said an objection about the noise level was made last year from a neighbour.

They are now going to court to appeal against the action by the council, with a hearing set before a judge in April.

Ian and Jo could be forced to shut the pub
Ian and Jo could be forced to shut the pub

She said: “There has been a pub on site since about 1825, long before the houses opposite were built, and we have live music most weekends.

“We took over the pub in June 2020 and almost from the first week we started the live music back, we had complaints [from the neighbour].

“The pub has undergone independent checks when the live music has been on and none of it has ever gone over the decibel limit.

“We live on the busy A35 and have heavy traffic going through the village so the noise of the lorries drowns out the music anyway.

“Nobody else living along that stretch has complained and we have had lots of support from our customers – they have written letters and put together a petition.”

She added: “It’s been very stressful. It has been bad enough for pubs with Covid.

“If we cannot have live music the pub will close – that will be the end of it.

“Live music nights are our biggest income. It will be a shame for the bands as well, as they are all local.”

One local told the A&T the pub was “the best in the area”, adding: “I live a quarter of a mile away and can often hear the music.

“But it doesn’t bother me. If it did, I would move.”

A spokesperson for the district council told the A&T: “We are unable to comment on this case at present due to an impending court hearing following the Forest Inn appealing the noise abatement notice served on them.”

They are due to appear at Southampton Crown Court on 7th April.

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