A restaurant has been banned from hosting outdoor events after neighbours complained about loud ‘heavy bass dance music’. 

The Ranch Meat House, Seaham, was the subject of 28 complaints from residents after it held several DJ events in its car park over the last two years. 

An examination of the noise levels at two of the events by Durham County Council officers found they were double the allowed volume. 

The restaurant’s owners said the events, often around four a year, would sell around 200 tickets and were well received, but they are now unlikely to host anymore due to a decline in interest. 

“It started off just after Covid and it was some local lads who wanted to make a bit of money and they seemed popular, and then they got better and better,” said Grant Bulmer, of The Ranch. 

Mr Bulmer told a Durham County Council licensing hearing that the events were louder than usual music but they started at 2pm and ended by 10pm. 

He added: “There was never any nuisance outside the premises, and when the police did turn up they were more than happy with the way they were run.” 

The meeting heard how staff would test the music levels prior to each event in a bid to restrict excessive noise but were repeatedly warned by officers that the volume was still too loud. The majority of the complaints originated from residential properties, some just 20 metres away from the restaurant. 

However, Mr Bulmer said The Ranch Meat House prides itself in being a friendly, local-led restaurant and has had no issues in the six and a half years it has been open. 

Yet members ruled to remove the restaurant’s ability to play music outdoors. 

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Cllr David Brown, chairman of the committee, said: “We have no criticism of how the premises is run, but it is clear to us that the outdoor area is unsuitable for this type of event. 

“On multiple occasions the music has been twice what is recommended. We have little alternative but to protect that licensing objective and we’ve had to remove the exemption regarding live music. 

“The licence will be amended so that music cannot be played outdoors. I hope this does not impact your business too much, but it is clear that what has happened is not appropriate.”

The restaurant could impose temporary event notices in the future, Mr Bulmer was told.