A pub in Abbots Langley has been fined more than £12,000 after a noisy generator meant neighbours were left unable to use their gardens.

The Royal Oak pub, in Kitters Green, pleaded guilty at St Albans Magistrates Court on Monday, September 11, to a “noise nuisance” offence levied by Three Rivers District council following complaints from neighbours.

The court heard emails from people complaining about the excessive noise and smoke emanating from a generator, which left those living in the surrounding houses unable to use their gardens, open windows on hot nights and or hold family events.

Despite assurances that the generator would no longer be used, the nuisance continued.

Residents' emails read out in court said living near the pub was like "living next to a factory", while another likened the noise to a taxiing aeroplane. 

Environmental health officer Andrew Pedley said: “I knew that evidence from residents would be far more powerful than any given by council officers.”

Other factors aggravating the sentence were the pub’s non-compliance with warnings, repeated incidents of offending, financial gain, and the fact that the pub is close to a number of residences.

The total penalty amounted to £12,641, some of which included a total of £4,500 paid out in compensation to affected residents.

Mr Pedley added: “I’ve no doubt that the court’s decision was informed and greatly influenced by the information from resident’s emails.

“I’ve not known a court award compensation before.

“I would like to thank you all for your support, assistance and restraint."

Three Rivers’ lead member for resources and shared services, Cllr Matthew Bedford, added: “We will investigate complaints about ongoing noise exceeding permitted levels; the fines demonstrate how seriously the courts take the matter of noise.

"We want our residents to live in a peaceful environment and, where we can, we will take action to secure this.”