Duke's Head noise complaints committee hearing

The Dukes Head, Highgate High Street.Pictured Theo Hudson leaseowner, and Sinead Mulligan manager.

Leaseholder Theo Hudson and manager Sinead Mulligan of The Dukes Head, in Highgate High Street. - Credit: Polly Hancock

Neighbour complaints and customer support were heard at a committee hearing over the future of a popular Highgate pub.

A sub committee hearing was held on Wednesday (May 18) over the future of the Duke's Head, in Highgate High Street.

Brothers Ben and Theo Hudson, who opened their "honky tonk" pub last summer, have had to apply for a new licence after issues involving the previous owner.

They are hoping Haringey Council will approve identical conditions to the previous licence, allowing them to serve alcohol until 1am.

A Haringey licensing officer suggested service should instead end at 12.30am.  

The meeting heard that five complaints had been made but no details were given.

Councillors heard from neighbour Sarah Thorley, who is registered blind, and who moved in with her family in August 2020, during the pandemic.

She said she has lodged five complaints with Haringey, which are not included in the five referenced in the meeting.

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She described "whooping and yelling" adding she just wanted "a peaceful life": "It's not constant but when it's loud it's really intrusive. 

"It's really upsetting and if I'm not feeling very well and I don't sleep very well, this noise just doesn't help my mental health. It's very stressful and I have a stress-related illness."

In support of the pub, Hugo Hagen, from Highgate Dental Practice, said clinicians within his practice all frequent the bar, which is not a "redneck hooligan venue".

He added: "It's a very clean institution. I've no doubt with everyone working together it could become a very successful part of our high street."

Rachel Terry said she moved from Hampstead to Highgate High Street in 2018 and that noise could come from any of the venues nearby.

"If you do live on a high street, you've got to assume there's going to be some noise."

She added: "My experience with the Hudson boys has always been positive. They've always made sure I've ambled up the high street safely and made it home. It's one of the reasons I drink there."

Cllr Luke Cawley-Harrison, (Liberal Democrat) asked the Duke's representative what they would do "in addition" to manage the noise.

Robert Sutherland, for Duke's, said only five smokers would be allowed outside at a time, without their drinks, and suggested biannual meeting with residents to iron out concerns. 

Haringey will give its decision within five working days.