A HAMPSHIRE pub has narrowly escaped closure following a three-year noise nightmare suffered by people living nearby.

Civic chiefs were presented with a police report that listed a spate of rowdy incidents at The Old Farmhouse in Ringwood Road, Totton, and called for the pub to be shut down for two months.

But police officers attending the meeting said major improvements had taken place since the previous Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) was sacked in December.

They also confirmed that the pub’s owners, Greene King, had agreed to abide by a series of conditions aimed to prevent further trouble.

The district’s council’s licensing sub-committee ruled that the popular watering hole should remain open.

But one of the members, Cllr Les Puttock, complained that Greene King had taken too long to address the issues raised by people living in surrounding streets.

He told Greene King’s representatives at the meeting: “What a shame you people took so long to discover you had a poorly-managed facility and do something about it.

“A lot of time was wasted and a lot of people were upset. You need to have more control.”

The police report, written two months ago, said: “Police records going back to 2010 show there have been regular complaints of noise nuisance and disorder linked to The Old Farmhouse.

“There have been consistent complaints of loud music, fights in the car park and customers shouting as they leave the premises.”

The report said a two-month closure would encourage the current clientele to fragment and move away.

But police officers at the hearing said action taken by the new DPS, Diane Roughley, had resulted in major improvements over the past three months. People living near the pub were “far happier” and no longer suffered sleepless nights, the sub-committee was told.

A report presented by Greene King was highly critical of Ryan Hamilton, the pub’s previous general manager and DPS.

The report said: “It is accepted that the general manager did not take his obligations seriously. Greene King feel he let down the company, despite having received assistance from the police and his line managers.

“The change in management has been observed to have had a marked improvement in the operation of the premises.”

The three-man sub-committee agreed that the conditions Greene King had agreed with the police would enable the pub to comply with licensing objectives.

Deputy chairman Cllr Goff Beck said: “Local residents had been subjected to unacceptable noise disturbance since 2010. However, the sub-committee is aware that since the application for a review was submitted there has been a significant improvement.”