Music venue told to keep it down after complaints

Noise limiters and soundproofing are to be installed at the Village Inn
Noise limiters and soundproofing are to be installed at the Village Inn
Have your say

A PUB renowned for its live music has been banned from staging gigs because of noise complaints.

The landlord of the Village Inn at South Fort Street in Leith narrowly avoided having his personal licence suspended following a string of complaints from residents.

The city’s licensing board ordered the pub not to play amplified music until noise limiters and additional sound proofing had been installed.

The pub has a small performance area and plays host to live bands and discos.

It was used as a venue by Leith Folk Club for seven and a half years before the group decided to move on in January.

Board members heard that complaints of excessive noise were received between September and January this year.

Despite council officers attending to investigate, the problem at the pub – run by manager Dean Conway – continued.

Niall Hassard of Lindsays, representing the premises, operated by Talisman Inns, said: “Whether this has been people burying their heads in the sand or perhaps getting carried away on a night, in any event, this was unacceptable.

“My client was unaware of the situation until mid January and even then was not aware of the scale of the problem.

“He has taken the decision to install a noise limiter and put in place additional sound proofing at the property.”

Mr Hassard said it had been agreed no more music would be played at the pub until these measures had been carried out.

“Given the decisive steps taken in a relatively short space of time, I would suggest that formal action would be harsh.”

But after the music ban was put in place, board convener Councillor Marjorie Thomas said: “It most certainly should not have reached this stage.

“To put it mildly, we are less than impressed with the way in which you have been running this premises.

“I’m prepared to propose that on this occasion we endorse your [Mr Conway’s] licence.”

Members of the board heard that Mr Conway had worked in the pub for ten years and been the manager for the past five.

Representing Mr Conway, Alistair Macdonald of Macdonald Licensing, said: “Having visited the premises I do think there was a general lack of awareness of how serious this was.

“Until a few months ago, there had been no problems at all.

“Dean’s future licence is at risk here and I think we can be sure that he now accepts the seriousness of the situation.”

Conservative Councillor Jeremy Balfour, who described the events as a “very serious case” – moved that Mr Conway’s licence be suspended for one month. But the board voted in favour of an endorsement. Mr Conway refused to comment.