Sekforde Arms saga: Publican says noise complaints have ‘divided community’ and could cause pub to close

The Sekforde Arms Pub. Picture: Sekforde Arms

The Sekforde Arms Pub. Picture: Sekforde Arms - Credit: Archant

A Clerkenwell publican says noise complaints have “absolutely divided the community” and could force his popular business to close.

The council’s Pollution Team has applied for a review against the Sekforde Arms on the grounds this could prevent crime and disorder and alleviate noise nuisance. It’s recommendations include closing all pubs doors and windows by 8.00pm and imposing a 20 person limit in the pub garden.

David Lonsdale, 55, who has owned the pub since 2005, said: “As a result of all the pretty good publicity we have had we’ve been attracting a great many customers and I think it is the nature of a pub that they do produce quite a lot of noise.

“The problem with that is, I know, if I can only have 20 people standing outside then everyone will go around the corner to the Crown Tavern, where you can have 200 people outside.

“So it may sound reasonable and fine and dandy but it would cause this [the Sekforde] to become hopelessly unprofitable and I would have to close it.”

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The licensing sub-committee will consider evidence from noise reports, as well as the 31 letters in support of the application and the 67 notes backing the Sekforde at a town hall meeting next Tuesday.

David, who lives above the pub, says he’s “heartened” by the 67 letter made against the review, which he says shows the majority of the community are on side.

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“It has cause a huge conflict between staff and many neighbours versus the minority who have complained.

“Some people who have come here for years are not speaking over this and, depending on who you speak to, I’m either a great local hero or the most unpopular person in Islington.”

But one complainant, who’s name has been redacted as per council policy, claims “unbearable noise” comes from the pub.

They added: “There has been several incidents of bad behaviour to ourselves and other neighbours (i.e drinking on our doorsteps, urinating down into our basements and being very drunk).”

Another anonymous objector, who claims to have lived nearby for 16 years, lambasted the “increasingly large crowds outside the Sekforde”.

They add: “It does have significant impact on the area with the pavements and roads blocked by bovine crowds of drinkers, Monday to Friday.”

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