Fringe Box



Council Leader ‘Under Investigation’ for Backing Star Inn Over Live Music Noise

Published on: 18 Oct, 2018
Updated on: 20 Oct, 2018

The Star Inn, Quarry Street

By Will Parsons

The council leader at Guildford Borough Council (GBC), Paul Spooner (Con, Ash South & Tongham), is under investigation for his support for The Star Inn pub, which has recently been issued a noise abatement notice due to its live music venue.

Cllr Paul Spooner

In a statement to The Guildford Dragon NEWS, Cllr Spooner said he was “under investigation” by GBC after the council received a complaint that he was “biased” towards The Star Inn.

He added: “As that has been accepted as worthy of investigation by the monitoring officer I struggle to see that I have been anything less than supportive of live music in Guildford.”

Cllr Spooner has voiced his support for the Star Inn on numerous occasions. In May, the pub was informed by GBC that council officers were drafting the noise abatement notice after nearby offices were renovated into flats.

At the time, Cllr Spooner publicly backed the pub, which has a venue for live acts close to the new residences. The Star Inn announced this week that it had been issued the noise abatement notice and would have to cease to host live acts by December.

This morning, speaking on Eagle Radio’s Breakfast Show, Cllr Spooner reiterated his support for the pub.

He said: “I’m afraid I’m not going to change my mind at all here. The situation in relation to conversion to apartments is something that I struggle to accept.

“The important thing is the cultural diversity in Guildford. We are very proud of what we have in Guildford and we need to protect what we have whilst of course bearing in mind that there are people living in our town.”

The Dragon will be publishing a fuller report later. Please check back.

Share This Post

Responses to Council Leader ‘Under Investigation’ for Backing Star Inn Over Live Music Noise

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    October 18, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    In this case, I think it should be the planning officers responsible for planning conditions who should be investigated. When the flats were given planning permission a condition should have been, that they were properly insulated from existing noise sources.

    The developer was notified of the music venue and had ample opportunity to noise insulate his new properties. Why did he go down close the pub down route? The next question is will Solum issue a noise abatement notice on Network Rail?

  2. Colin Cross Reply

    October 18, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    On this occasion, Cllr Spooner gets my full support for his views and if having a strong opinion on a topic leaves councillors open to accusations of bias I’m not sure where that might lead to, surely not a never-ending string of formal investigations?

    Colin Cross is the Lib Dem borough councillor for Lovelace (Ripley, Wisley and Ockham)

  3. Alan Cooper Reply

    October 18, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    I agree with Colin Cross, why can’t Paul Spooner have an opinion? Naturally, if it contains logic and good sense there will be many of the local nonentities, known as councillors who will object.

    With some 23,000 residents in support of The Star Inn, the time to take action will be at the next local elections when those who were in favour of The Star Inn possibly losing their music licence can be voted out of office.

  4. Bernard Parke Reply

    October 18, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    This is very strange.

    Surely Cllr Spooner can pass an opinion as he should have been allowed to on the Ash planning issue.

  5. Moira MacQuaide Hall Reply

    October 18, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Why should the pub have to stop live music? It was there first and I don’t think I ever heard of complaints before the new accommodation was built.

    Live music is very good for pubs. It’s affordable, it brings in customers and provides a wealth of entertainment for the local, and further afield, community. I always wonder why people complain about noise when they made the decision to buy their home next to a pub, a school or whatever else makes noise.

  6. John Perkins Reply

    October 18, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    There appears to be some disagreement between Cllr. Spooner and his officers. I’m reluctant to take sides.

  7. John Perkins Reply

    October 19, 2018 at 11:14 am

    GBC Health and Community Care Services raised an objection to Ripley Parish Council’s planning application for the new village hall (18/P/001192) on the grounds that noise may be a nuisance and that its officers would be called to take action.

    In his objection the officer notes that “that there is no current nor is there any historic complaint record from local residents”. True only if objections to the current and, identical, previous application are ignored and if the fact that the existing annexe was added to provide noise insulation in response to complaints from residents 50 metres away.

  8. Ben Paton Reply

    October 19, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    Surely the whole thing was a foreseeable and preventable consequence of granting planning permission for the flats?
    The pub was previously within its rights and not offending anyone in making a lot of noise with live music shows, as there were no adjacent homes.

    The residents, who were not there previously, have a right to the peaceful occupation of their homes.

    The conflict has been created by GBC’s planning policy which allowed a developer to convert some offices into flats. If GBC had not permitted this, the conflict would not, presumably, have arisen.

    Whatever GBC does now, it is likely one side, or the other, will feel unhappy about it.

    Isn’t the situation pretty clear? It’s a cock-up of GBC’s making.

    • Martin Elliott Reply

      October 19, 2018 at 11:24 pm

      GBC Planning set a condition for the walls of the flat.

      -34dB(A) for walls, 27dB(A) for glass.

      Condition discharged ‘off plan’ by materials specified.

      Who decided those specifications would work? They obviously were wrong.

  9. David Willis Reply

    October 19, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    Buyers of the flats should be made aware of the fact that for decades, if not centuries, live music has been played at The Star. They should take this into account before committing to buy one of the flats.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *