A SHOCKED pub says it won’t “go down without a fight” after being threatened with fines and closures following noise complaints.

The Hare and Hounds pub in High Garrett says it could be looking at redundancies and closing down for good should legal action against the pub be successful.

Since reopening, the business, which admits it used to be a quiet country pub, has seen an influx of customers.

During lockdown the pub converted its large garden to accommodate customers, increasing the capacity from 46 indoors to 300 both indoors and outdoors.

The pub has also started hosting live music on Saturdays with acts, excluding bands, performing in the garden.

Owner Michael Campbell, who opened the business four years ago, says the move has helped the pub reach its full potential.

But now the pub could be facing a three month closure of its garden area following noise complaints from two neighbours.

Michael, 27, said: “It’s so frustrating, the council has taken the side of the two neighbours.

“The licence allows it. It's not that loud and we stop the music at 11pm, most of the time before that.

“Every weekend we are getting noise complaints from the council, telling us the noise is causing a statutory nuisance to the point we were served an abatement notice meaning if we make too much noise the council will take us to court.

“They are also trying to put a closure notice on me which could shut our garden for three months.

“We have suffered enough through lockdowns and now they want to close us again.

“Without the garden our capacity would drop by 260 to around 46 but 40 people wouldn’t even cover the bills.”

Michael also revealed he had sent letters to his neighbours letting them know about his plans for outdoor seating and music.

Should the closure notice be successful, Michael says his business may be forced to close down.

He added: “I feel like I’ve been let down by the council. We’ve done everything they asked us to do.

“I’ve got the letter. I printed them off and sent it off to them but not one of them got back to me.

“There are only two who have complained but to please these two people, the actions would cause 36 people to lose their jobs, I would lose my business and the community would lose their little hub.

“It's amazing, the support of customers has been fantastic.

“We will not go down without a fight.  And will still be open until we are literally forced to close.”

A Braintree Council spokesman said: “We have received over 30 noise complaints from numerous households since April 16, arising from the use of the pub garden.

“As the local authority we have an obligation to investigate all complaints we receive and we have been trying to work with the owner of this establishment to resolve the issues.

“Ultimately it is for the business owner to control and manage his business and to act responsibly.

“Six different officers from this authority have verified the complaints from residents, even when taking into account the nature of the business, and there has been no significant improvement despite guidance and advice being offered.

“Of course, we want to support local businesses during this time, but unfortunately it has become necessary for Braintree Council to consider stronger measures to limit impact to residents from the business.”