Councillors have agreed that a planning condition requiring a pub chain to install a noise meter in its beer garden can be scrapped because it is ‘not practical’ and would be an easy target for vandals.

In February, JD Wetherspoon was granted planning permission by Huntingdonshire District Council to open a new pub in a vacant shop unit in Market Hill, St Ives - despite concerns from neighbours about noise.

As part of the permission, the council added a condition which required the chain to install a noise meter in its beer garden, in order to monitor the level of noise generated by revellers and to ease the fears of neighbours.

However, at a meeting of the district council's planning committee held last Monday (April 18), Wetherspoon's Jon Randall applied to have the condition removed because it was deemed not to be practical.

In the report given to councillors, it was noted: "On the face of it, a noise monitor seems like a good idea, however it would only be possible to find out if the guideline level of 50 decibels was exceeded at the end of a 16-hour period.

"A noise monitor could possible undermine good management techniques as Wetherspoon could fall into a situation where no action might be taken against noise until an indicator went off."

The report also noted that if a noise meter was installed, there would be no way of telling which specific noise had triggered it, suggesting that a nearby bird or a dog could inadvertently trigger the indicator.

Councillors agreed with the assessment made in the report and voted to remove the planning condition requiring the noise meter. In its place, councillors ordered that JD Wetherspoon provide a noise management plan - to be approved by council officers.