The Cock Inn publican hands in his notice claiming council is ‘trying to stop me earning living’ over noise complaints

PUBLISHED: 09:09 08 July 2015 | UPDATED: 10:37 10 July 2015

Cock inn March. Publican Chris Kirby. Picture: Steve Williams.

Cock inn March. Publican Chris Kirby. Picture: Steve Williams.

Archant

A publican has handed in his notice at one of March’s most popular pubs after claiming Fenland District Council is “trying to stop me from earning a living” over noise issues.

Cock inn March. Publican Chris Kirby. Picture: Steve Williams.Cock inn March. Publican Chris Kirby. Picture: Steve Williams.

Chris Kirby, who has run The Cock Inn since April 2010, described the decision to quit as “gutting”.

Mr Kirby says his pub has done everything it can to co-operate with the council. There is only one neighbour, he says, who, despite every effort to appease her, makes complaints.

But the council says there have been complaints from nine homes and has contacted pub owner Elgood’s to arrange a meeting to discuss the issues.

Mr Kirby said: “The council is continuously threatening me with noise abatement notices and has been trying to spoil the family atmosphere I have strived for at this pub.

“We struggle through the winter – we are a summer pub. The noise abatement notice would close down the garden and March would lose another pub.”

Robin Hotson, estates manager for Elgood’s, said: “Chris could not have done any more to ensure he is doing everything he can to the licensing objectives.

“It would be a shame to lose him. We don’t want him to go but we understand his position.

“We’ll try and find a new tenant but, if you can’t use the garden for functions, you will not be able to make enough money to cover the costs.”

A council spokesman said: “It is not true to say that only one neighbour has complained; in fact nine households have done so over a period of time, and not only in the summer.

“We have tried to work with Mr Kirby to address the various concerns and would like to continue to do so.

“We have contacted Elgood’s and asked for a meeting to discuss the issue, which we hope can be satisfactorily resolved for the benefit of everyone concerned.”


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