A troubled Kings Langley pub is being forced to call last orders an hour earlier to stem the flow of complaints from residents.

Neighbours of The Bell in Primrose Hill said they had witnessed fighting outside the pub, noise and underage drinking.

The pub manager, Mark Hunter rejected these claims and said some complaints had been made when there were no incidents.

Hertfordshire Constabulary recommended the pub change its opening hours by closing an hour earlier on Fridays and Saturdays after police met with senior members of staff at the pub in March.

One resident, in a representation made to Three Rivers District Council, said: "From April to June 2014, we have seen and heard physical fights between customers leaving the premises late at night."

If the licensing sub-committee approves the application, the pub will close at 12.30am Monday to Saturday and 11pm on Sunday. Currently, the pub closes at 1.30am on a Friday and Saturday, with the option to stay open until midnight on a weekday.

Provisions to sell alcohol won’t change and booze will be available between 9am and midnight Monday to Saturday. On Sundays, alcohol will be available between 9am and 10.30pm. 

Complaints received by Three Rivers District Council include one that said: "The clientele of the premises are mostly groups of youths who do not leave the premises or area at the designated licensed hours" and another which said "the noise from patrons leaving the pub in the evening is very loud and wakes us." 

But the claims of large groups of youths congregating around the pub were refuted by Mark Hunter, manager at The Bell.

He said: "They are absolutely nice people, not gangs of youths as it is being represented."

Pullin Shah, the licence holder for The Bell, added: "We have made an application that is born out of the requests from the police and their suggestions and recommendations [to try and resolve these problems].

"If what the police have told us works in the past, there is no reason this should not work again.

"We are trying to reduce the hours so that, really, a lot of the complaints we have had will be quashed. What we are trying to do should be in their favour."

Under the new proposals, the pub will open at 6am and start serving breakfast.

Mr Shah said: "With all the attention from the authorities, it has put a lot of strain on me and on Mark.

"The breakfast idea is for what we are losing, what we have lost, it is a new part of the trade."

It also emerged during the meeting of the licensing sub-committee on Monday that the pub had faced financial trouble over the last couple of years and nearly closed down and Mr Shah, in his closing remarks said that "putting more limitations and restrictions is like putting another nail in us."

The pub will be notified by the committee within five working days whether their application has been accepted or not.