A PUB accused of playing excessively loud music had its licence suspended yesterday.

Bournemouth councillors on the licensing committee heard neighbours of The Thatched House in Northbourne had suffered from loud music, fighting and shouting into the early hours of the morning for two years.

They agreed to suspend its licence and the pub, in East Howe Lane, will be forced to cease trading until January 31 unless there is an appeal by owners Marston’s.

But Marston’s has 21 days to appeal and the pub could continue to trade during that period – and then carry on until an appeal is heard.

Committee chairman Cllr David Kelsey said: “We felt this was the best course of action as the right conditions are already in place on the licence regarding noise and hours. They are just being ignored.”

The pub also had its licence for serving drinks and playing music limited to 11pm each day. Landlords Kevin and Michelle Ellis, who are leaving the pub next month after running it for two years, claimed noise levels were not excessive.

“I have always felt that the volume here was reasonable.

“ The problem is the pub is a bit close to the houses. But we have to entertain our customers or they won’t come,” said Mr Ellis, 54.

“We decided to move on anyway as Michelle has health pro-blems, so this won’t affect us, but it will be a shame for the locals if it closes at Christmas.”

Pub regular Alan Ready, 61, of Sunningdale Crescent, said: “Kevin and Michelle have worked hard to get this back to being a family pub. It was in a state when they took over.

“And they have succeeded. There is a real community here now. The noise late at night is people from the estates using the garden when it is shut.”

Marston’s told the committee it was taking over management next month, and claimed this would end the problems.

However, one neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, was sceptical.

“Marston’s will appeal this, so this will carry on over Christmas,” she said.

However another neighbour, 85-year-old Joan Jones, said she had no problems.

“It is just what you expect living next to a pub, a bit of noise,” she said.