Event organiser fined for noise complaints

Police want to speak to anyone who was in the area who may have seen what happened. 

Police want to speak to anyone who was in the area who may have seen what happened or who have dashcam footage of the incident. - Credit: Archant

The organiser of an event in North Somerset has been ordered to pay more than £3,000 for breaching a noise abatement notice.

Grant Wedlake was prosecuted at North Somerset Magistrates Court following a charge brought by North Somerset Council for the breach of a noise abatement notice. 

The court ordered him to pay a fine of £2,400, victim surcharge of £190 and costs of £605.  

On August 19 last year, a Temporary Events Notice was submitted to the council by Wedlake, who lived in Congresbury at the time, for a family event at Backwell over that bank holiday weekend of August 28-31.

The application was submitted with a Covid-19 risk assessment for the event which stated that the music would be played at a level where people would be able to communicate without shouting.

On August 28, complaints about loud music from the event were received by the council and the police.

Wedlake was contacted and advised that the music needed to be kept at a level to enable individuals to communicate without shouting and to not disturb occupiers of nearby premises.   

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The following day, further complaints were received. During a visit to complainants' properties, nearly a mile away from the event location, an environmental protection officer determined that the noise constituted a statutory nuisance. 

A noise abatement notice was issued to Wedlake by hand, requiring him within 20 minutes of receiving the notice to abate and cease to permit the playing of amplified equipment at such a volume and tone that would cause unreasonable disturbance to occupiers of nearby premises.

A breach of the abatement notice was witnessed on August 29 and the council continued receiving complaints about the loud music up until 11pm that day and during the afternoon and evening on August 30 until the music finished at 11pm. 

Cllr Mike Bell, the council's executive member responsible for public health and regulatory services, welcomed the outcome of the prosecution. 

He said: "We welcome events and activities across North Somerset, but it is important that these are run in a way that is safe and minimises unfair disruption to residents.

"When any organiser ignores our advice and impacts on the community, the council will take action.

"Council officers and the police work hard to respond to these issues, often at very unsocial hours, and I am pleased that we were backed in this case by the court and a fine was imposed."