Decision made on future of Morecambe pub after catalogue of complaints

A Morecambe pub has escaped closure after councillors met to discuss its future following a series of complaints.
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Instead The Boardwalk on Marine Road has been given an 11pm entertainment curfew from Thursday through to Sunday.

Lancaster City Council’s licensing act sub committee met to review the premises licence for The Boardwalk, at Marine Road.

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The council’s environmental protection service made the request following a catalogue of complaints since 2020 from members of the public about noise.

The Boardwalk.The Boardwalk.
The Boardwalk.

Police and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service provided evidence of 19 assaults at the pub, and also up to 15 fire safety breaches which have to be addressed.

Options available to the committee included revoking the licence, or suspension of the licence for up to three months.

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Morecambe pub could be forced to close after catalogue of complaints over noise,...

At the meeting Rachel Stainton, senior environmental health officer for public protection said: “Complaints about the noise started mid-2019, and complaints continued even after a notice was served.

"Noise limiters were not being used at the premises and the conditions of the licence were not being met.

"In March 2020 the Covid pandemic started and in June 2021 complaints started again.

"It was following a visit mid August 2021 that an abatement notice was served but no appeal was lodged by the company.

"Complaints continued even after the abatement notice was served which required more visits.

"In March 2022 officers visited The Boardwalk and upon entering witnessed it was so loud that they had to shout to each other to be heard.

"The designated premises supervisor Lee Wallett was dismissive about reducing noise levels and he was again written to.

"Noise app recordings taken in a bedroom of one of the flats were sent to Lee Wallett and noise could be heard at unreasonable levels.

"We still continued to receive noise app recordings from the complainants, with the most recent being received on Sunday evening.

"Music noise was clearly audible over the tv at nighttime.

"Residents living next to or in proximity will continue to be affected by unnecessary noise.

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"All that has been required in this case is simply to reduce noise.”

"The only practical solution to prevent nuisance it not to provide amplified music from the premises.

"This is an unusual case, businesses have ordinarily complied with notices and further action by the council has not been necessary.”

PC Andrew Taylor, licensing officer, said there had been 70 logs to police of assaults and disorder at The Boardwalk between June 1, 2019 and August 11, 2022.

PC Andrew Taylor said: “I've submitted 19 logs related to serious assaults and public order to the review, and with the noise issues and poor management, this is contributing to poor running of the venue. A review is necessary to ensure the premises is safe.”

Police requested that the opening hours of the pub should be changed, music should be removed, to close off the balcony, stop off sales of alcohol, close seating areas at the front, use toughened glasses, and implement Challenge 25 to replace Challenge 18.

PC Andrew Taylor said: “In one incident at the pub I witnessed CCTV footage of a man being punched 50 times to the face, and on the CCTV you can count the number of times he was punched so this is not an exaggeration.

"Lancashire Constabulary has information that is clear evidence that the licensing objectives are being undermined at these premises.

"It is all about due diligence and running premises safely.

"Selling alcohol is a privilege, not a right, and it demands in return that businesses behave responsibly.”

Darren Clifford, manager at The Boardwalk said: “The incident where a man was pummelled 50 times is absolutely unacceptable."

“We have done the things that have been asked but there has been a couple of times where we dropped the ball.

"We want to run a safe premises where disorder is concerned and also that we can get on with our neighbours.

"That is a failure on our part and we want to resolve that.

"Historically there has been noise that has been unreasonable but there are a number of other people who have not complained.

"It’s a balance between trying to be a responsible neighbour and not being an establishment that is hermetically sealed."

The Boardwalk's designated premises supervisor Lee Wallett said: “A lot of what has been happening is historical and since my former business partner has left we haven’t had any incidents as regards to the police and the venue has been running really, really well, nice clientele, no trouble.

"I’ve made a really good job of turning the place around. It was a bit of a dive and I spent all the Covid lockdown renovating the property.

"The music is on occasions too loud. I have offered to go upstairs to listen to the noise but they are hostile to me about events out of my control.

"I’ve put new state-of-the-art CCTV in which comes to my phone and a new alarm system as well.

"I personally think the venue is going really well.

"I consider myself to be running the establishment to the best of my ability and I have done a good job.

"It's a safe place to come, we have had no trouble since Christmas, we have got on top of the fire safety. The main issue at the moment is the noise which we will be doing our best to address.”

The Licensing sub-committee decided that it was necessary to modify the conditions of the licence and to reduce the hours of regulated entertainment on Thursdays to Sundays to between 10am and 11pm.

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