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Resident claims they are ‘trapped in home by hostile crowd’ at middle-aged music events at Brent pub

A North London pub is having its licence reviewed after a neighbour complained of being ‘trapped in their home’ by a ‘hostile crowd’ on live music nights. However, some have accused the resident of ‘exaggeration and mistruths’ as the attendees are mainly over 60 and the local councillor suggesting they ‘shouldn’t have bought a house so close to a music venue’.

In January of last year, the Kilburn Arms off Willesden Lane was restricted to playing music on Saturday nights only after complaints by neighbours. Following an appeal, an out-of-court settlement reinstated live music from 8pm to 10:30pm Sunday to Tuesday, 11pm Wednesday to Friday, and midnight on Saturday. Recorded music could be played from 8pm to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 1am on Friday and Saturday.

However, an immediate neighbour of the pub has lodged a new complaint against the pub and is calling on Brent Council to restrict its licence on the grounds of ‘prevention of public nuisance’. The resident says the situation has ‘only worsened’ since the January hearing, and claims the noise is disturbing their children’s sleep as staff ‘struggle to adhere’ to the new restrictions.

In a statement submitted against the application, the resident states: “Because some weeks the situation has been so unbearable, we have in the past felt compelled to get out of the comfort of bed to go round the Kilburn Arms in pyjamas after 11pm as the music is still going on, with the doors wide open and in full swing with no sign of stopping.”

They added: “We now feel trapped in our own home when the live music nights are on as the crowd has been known to be hostile and we have no peace and quiet. It is hard to relax after a hard day at work with the uncertainty of when we can actually fall asleep.”

The residents claim that the manager was apologetic when they first went round to complain about the noise but now feel ‘dismissed’ and ‘confrontational conversations’ with staff have left them feeling ‘intimidated’. They added: “We had to call the police as one of the punters from the pub was aggressive and followed my husband to the door of our home.”

The neighbour complained that on the mornings following the live music events, they have to clear up broken glass from the entrance to their house and, during the summer months when the weather was hot, ‘hosing down the doorway as it smells of urine’.

Kilburn councillor, Anthony Malloy, hit back at the complaints, calling the pub a ‘precious remnant of the once vibrant Kilburn night-time economy’ and called the middle-aged crowd ‘just the kind of diverse group we love to see in this neighbourhood’.

He added: “When Brent noise abatement officers were called in a couple of years ago, they deemed the levels acceptable and anecdotally, one can barely hear the music outside. If one family is so sensitive to low-level sound next door as to want to permanently curtail the enjoyment of hundreds of their fellow citizens, perhaps they shouldn’t have bought a house within a few metres of a live music venue.”

This was echoed by the council’s Town Centre Manager who said they were ‘not aware of any antisocial behaviour or noise issues’ associated with the pub and had never received any complaints. Someone involved in the music events also submitted a statement highlighting the importance of the live music nights for lonely people in the area to socialise and the majority of attendees are ‘over 60’..

They added: “It is incredibly distressing that we hear that the neighbour again is trying to create trouble for the venue and the community. This person is simply exaggerating and telling untruths, clearly doesn’t like peaceful people and good folk being in a public space! Not to mention costing this honest business a lot of money in costs and shortened hours. What’s more distressing for me is that [the] reports are being taken seriously.”

The resident is calling for no live music or recorded records on any weekday night, only on Saturdays from 8pm until 11pm – including band warm up time – as well as the outdoor space to be closed at 9pm every day and all exterior doors to be shut at all times. The application will be reviewed at an upcoming meeting of Brent Council’s Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Sub-Committee (March 20).