West Hartlepool Rugby Club under fire over beer fest ‘like Glastonbury’

West Hartlepool Rugby Footbal Club, Catcote Road, Hartlepool
West Hartlepool Rugby Footbal Club, Catcote Road, Hartlepool

A rugby club has agreed to keep a closer eye on noise at events it stages after complaints from residents.

One man said the live music coming from West Hartlepool Rugby Club’s annual beer festival was so loud it was “like being in Glastonbury”.

Licensing chiefs on Hartlepool Borough Council reviewed the rugby club’s premises licence after a formal complaint by John and Christine Lax, of Queensberry Avenue.

They said they were not able to relax due to noise coming from an outdoor cinema event hosted at the club in Catcote Road on the weekend of June 26-28 and the following weekend’s beer festival.

Giving evidence to the council’s Licensing Sub-Committee, Mr Lax said: “Even indoors with doors and windows closed we could not escape the noise.”
He said the worst was during the beer festival on Saturday, July 4, when live bands played and which got louder as the day went on.

Mr Lax added: “We stood in our front garden and it was as if we were in Glastonbury. We just want to be able to enjoy our garden and home in peace and quiet.”

Mrs Lax said other people in the road were also concerned about the noise and that residents as far away in Clifton Avenue could also hear it.

Following the complaints the rugby club met with the council and agreed to amend the licence reducing the number of outdoor events to only one a year and introduce measures to reduce noise disturbance.

Dave Picken, chairman of West Hartlepool Rugby Club, said this was the first year the club had received complaints in five years of staging the beer festival.

He said: “We do take responsibility for being a good neighbour. We have put a variation on the licence, legally we can only have one event a year.

“We were never aware we were causing a problem and now we are we will police it far more tightly in future.”

Other alterations to the licence include carrying out regular noise assessments and keeping written records. The council decided to take no further action.