Crazy Bear owner fined for breaching noise notice

Released on November 27, 2015

The owner of a hotel in Stadhampton has been fined £1,500 after breaching an abatement notice which had been issued following complaints about noise from clay pigeon shooting.

Jason Hunt, 51, of Bear Lane, Stadhampton, owner of the Crazy Bear Hotel, appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 25 November when he pleaded guilty to two breaches of a noise abatement notice. 

The notice had been issued to him in January 2014 following more than 40 complaints about noise from clay pigeon shooting which he had staged on a weekly basis at the hotel since October 2013.  Checks made at the site by environmental health officers from South Oxfordshire District Council had confirmed that the noise was above acceptable levels and therefore a statutory nuisance.

After the notice had been issued acoustic shelters were built at the site, however these failed to keep the noise below an acceptable level with further breaches recorded and complaints received.

Following Mr Hunt’s continued failure to comply with the noise abatement notice South Oxfordshire District Council decided it was necessary to prosecute him for the breaches.

A first hearing was held in July 2014 when a not guilty plea was entered.  The case was part heard in March 2015 however, following the departure of the magistrate hearing the case, was then scheduled to be retried with a district judge on 25 November.  Prior to the re-trial Mr Hunt changed his plea to guilty.

In court Jason Hunt was fined £1,500 (£750 for each breach of the abatement notice) and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £75 along with £1,000 costs.

Cllr Tony Harbour, Cabinet Member for Waste, Food Safety and Environmental Health at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We are very supportive of any business wishing to diversify and set up activities that attract more customers.  However, they must not be to the detriment of the local area or impact those living near by. 

“The Crazy Bear is located near the centre of Stadhampton next to a number of homes so setting up clay pigeon sessions was always likely to cause noise issues.  They had a number of months to alleviate the problem however with consistent complaints and continued breaches of the abatement notice we were left with little choice but to prosecute.”