Pub spends thousands on brightly coloured garden huts before being ordered to tear them down

A series of colourful sheds

The pub installed the huts in the garden (stock image)

George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 17/11/2023

- 11:34

Residents living near the County Durham pub claim they're kept awake by 'intolerable' noise

A pub landlord who spent thousands on brightly coloured huts is now "outraged" after being ordered to tear them down.

The Farmer Arms in Shadforth, County Durham spent £16,000 on the brightly coloured huts in the pub garden.

The huts were installed to help with social distancing during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Even after the lockdown ended, the huts proved to be a hit with punters.

Outside the pub

Part of the pub's car park was used for the sheds

Google Maps

However, locals' complaints and opposition could see the pub forced to rip down the colourful huts.

A retrospective planning permission has been thrown out by the council.

Landlord Colin Curran said: "They’re a big asset to us. Some older and vulnerable customers only feel safe coming out and using the sheds."

"The council was encouraging small businesses to make outdoor spaces available but now they’re taking it away. They’re a nuisance to no one."


​The pub applied for retrospective planning permission

Google maps

Curran used part of the pub's car park to make room for the five beach huts and decking area.

However, neighbours started complaining to the council that the pub's garden visitors would get too loud.

One nearby resident said they had to "shut windows because of loud live music and loud intoxicated customers shouting and swearing till very late at night".

Curran has now been told to tear the huts down, calling the decision a "slap in the face".

The inspector’s report added: "There is evidence that the use of the beer garden does disturb the nearby residential occupiers in their homes and gardens, particularly the rears of the closest Oliver Crescent properties.

"The noise levels rise when customers are inebriated and when music is played in the beer garden.

"There are times when the neighbours are unable to enjoy their gardens and they need to close their windows to mitigate the noise."

While the report noted that the pub’s expansion had received some local support, the Planning Inspectorate concluded that the proposal would harm the living conditions of nearby residents.

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