COUNCILLORS were reassured about the long-term future of a town centre pub during a meeting to review its licence last week.

Test Valley Borough Council’s (TVBC) licensing sub-committee met on Friday, 22 September, to discuss proposals to impose restrictions on the licence of The Lardicake following a number of noise complaints.

Led by chairman Councillor Jan Budzynski, the sub-committee amended the Adelaide Road pub’s licence to prevent its new tenants from playing loud music outside between 11pm and 11am and restricting the number of permissible live music events to one per month.

The duration of outdoor music events has also been curtailed to three hours and loud music cannot be played inside the pub between 11pm and 11am unless all windows and doors are closed.

TVBC’s senior environmental protection officer, Lorna Taylor , told the sub-committee the council began receiving noise complaints in summer 2016 after tenant Andy Rogers and his wife Jackie took over the pub in April of that year.

She described how the council had been liaising with the tenants and pub owners, Ei Group Limited, though complaints were also received in spring and summer of this year.

Miss Taylor said: “It became clear to us that it was the outdoor events that were causing an issue.”

Describing how on one occasion an environmental officer could hear music from the pub at Black Swan Car Park.

She added: “If he could hear it there, a large number of residents would have been able to hear it.”

Complaints in June and July saying that residents could not use their gardens at the weekend, prompted a review of the pub’s licence.

Since then the council has been working with Ei and Mr and Mrs Rogers but the couple left the business on 29 August after Ei gave them notice to vacate.

Miss Taylor confirmed when asked by committee member Councillor Alison Johnston that complaints had been made by four separate households with two of those residences contacting the council more regularly.

TVBC has confirmed that amendments to the licence could have been made through discussions with Mr and Mrs Rogers and Ei without the matter being taken to a sub-committee.

It is understood that it was a failure to address the issues that saw the matter taken through formal sub-committee meetings.

On that point, Miss Taylor said: “I think it is unfortunate that we didn’t have a discussion with Mr Rogers because I think this situation [the sub-committee] was avoidable.”

Richard Taylor, legal representation for Ei, submitted the pub owners had solved the problem by asking Mr and Mrs Rogers to vacate.

He said: “Mr Rogers has gone and so we need to look forward and Ei has installed a new tenant. This is a temporary solution while we look for a new long-term tenant.

“It is important that sufficient guards are put in place so this sort of thing can’t happen again.”

Mr Taylor added: “We want to reposition this pub as a friend of the community. We want to be a good neighbour.”

When asked by Cllr Budzynski whether he envisaged a long-term future for the pub, Mr Taylor replied: “I do.”

Concluding the hearing and imposing proposals put forward by the council’s environmental health manager with immediate effect, Cllr Budzynski said: “We are incredibly pleased to hear there is a long-term future for The Lardicake.”