Hunter's Hideout at Leopard pub next to neighbouring property

A popular Nantwich pub is facing a planning enforcement investigation after it emerged its new “second bar” does not have planning permission.

Residents living on the boundary of The Leopard pub, owned by Joules Brewery, have complained about noise and privacy invasion from “The Hunter’s Hideout” which opened in April.

It is sited in the corner of the pub’s land on London Road – a few feet away from neighbouring householders’ gardens (pictured)

A formal complaint has been lodged by resident Jill Carey after it emerged no planning permission for the structure was sought.

Ms Carey said: “We purchased our property over four years ago with The Leopard a reasonable distance away.

“We enjoyed the summer activities in their beer garden, a nice buzz of people enjoying food and drinks.

“But this structure is literally next to our boundary line and garden fence.

“This is an outdoor bar space that they use mainly on Friday, Saturday and Sundays, also hiring it out for parties and large gatherings. The building has a full bar and sound system.

“After some searching we have discovered this building had no planning or retrospective planning permission.

Hunter's Hideout just inches from residential property fence
Hunter’s Hideout close to neighbour’s garden fence

“It’s a complete invasion of our privacy and quite possibly has devalued our property.

“I’m furious that not only has it got no planning but was granted a license by Cheshire council.”

Ms Carey has made a formal complaint to Cheshire East’s planning and environmental noise departments.

“I think other residents and patrons should be aware of the stress and frustration this is causing,” she added.

“Neighbours of The Leopard are getting very angry about the level of noise especially on a Friday night (live music) when amplified music can be heard clearly past 11pm.”

An email from Cheshire East’s Principal Planning Officer says “planning permission ought to have been obtained for the structure” and that investigating officers would “chase this up”.

Ms Carey is also keeping a “noise diary” after making a further complaint to the environmental noise team.

She added: “I have videos of the noise levels we have experienced from party hire most recently – three nights on the trot!

“They say it is a moveable structure, that is manned and closes at a reasonable time, and it probably would not be used during the winter months.

“But I would like to relax in my garden during the summer months and have some peace and quiet.”

Building regulations say a structure that is within two metres of a house boundary should not exceed 2.5m in size.

Ms Carey is calling for the structure to be removed.

“We have often sat outside enjoying the low level chatter from the beer garden whilst having our lunch or dinner.

“But since the Hunters Hideout, we have not had many opportunities to sit outside especially when they hire it out at weekends.”

Anna Brakel, brand development director at Joules Brewery, said: “We’re in dialogue with all our neighbours, this is something we strive for in our pub communities.

“The Hunter’s Lodge, which was a pre-existing deck terrace with a focus for noise aimed towards the busy road, was a design to add cover to ensure comfort for our customers.

Hunter's Hideout sign The Leopard“In a difficult climate where pub trade is challenging, in August alone 25 pubs were closing every week, we have endeavoured to support the local community of Nantwich, by investing in the Leopard earlier this year and providing customers an external space to enjoy under close management.

“The area is diligently and closely managed by our landlords Sam and Gary who have been our local franchisees for 10 years.

“As part of their in-house noise management policy, Sam and Gary ensure the area is staffed by a team member to monitor noise levels and closes at 9pm out of respect for our neighbours.

“We will always engage on any communication with our local customers and neighbours, we are cooperative and friendly and welcome all to speak with us, Gary and Sam will always welcome an open platform of communication, please pop in for a coffee, they will always be welcome to speaking with the community.”

A Cheshire East Council spokesperson said: “The council’s planning enforcement team have visited the property and raised the issue of the outside wooden structure with the pub landlord who has the option to apply for retrospective planning permission.

“A variation of the pub licence, extending to the new external bar area, was granted in March of this year, following the 28-day statutory consultation period, during which there were no objections received by the council.

“Noise complaints are a matter for the council’s environmental protection team. We can confirm that complaints have been received and are investigating.”


  1. Maybe the 1930’s when the Pub was rebuilt in its present form

  2. That may be true of the new flats opposite but the house which is affected particularly by this, i.e with the back garden adjacent to the ‘bar’ was probably built around the same time as the pub in the 1950’s.

    The Pub people are well out of order

  3. Also the awful parking on the pavement on London Road outside the Leopard is also horrendous for pedestrians and mobility aid users. Can be up to 10 cars just dumped there on busy days at the pub.

  4. When it was being built I did wonder how they managed to get planning permission and commented to my partner I’m glad I don’t live next door to it. I wonder if they other building work they did at around the same time had planning permission.

  5. Well its nearly Autumn, must be loads of damp leaves that will need burning down the bottom of the garden…

  6. Seeing the council let over
    200 homes be built without proper planning permission they are on dodgy ground if they enforce planning for a small out building!

  7. Mines a pint says:

    I think all the above need to be grateful that the pub is still in operation at this point in time…and dont move next to a pub if you expect the quiet life…it was there long before you…and will be there long after you…I suspect you are not from the area…were you all so down on local business in your former homes??
    And contrary to belief…the property price is ENHANCED by the pub being within walking distance.

  8. well amber, you may not have spent much time in your garden this summer, but I am out every day, its clear you do not live close by so you have no valid authority to comment favourably on an experience you have never even had!

  9. Firstly no one has had much opportunity to sit outside at weekends this summer. The weather had been awful
    Secondly do not buy or move next to a pub that has been there long before you moved.

    I have frequented this pub regularly and tbh this claims seem malicious. I also live close to pubs and some of the complaints that have been made over the years have been ridiculous.

  10. great pub! Hope they keep the bar outside.

  11. Utterly Shocking !
    Having recently gone through the planing permission process for a home extension I am shocked to see how the rules in this case were blatantly not respected by this business.

  12. They will no doubt grant retrospective permission so they are not then at fault for issuing the license. Retrospective planning permission is disgusting. If you don’t have permission, it should get knocked down and a ten year ban on applying for permission again for that land. It is a real shame that Joules and the Council are clearly working together on this – just doing what the hell they want and damn the residents.

  13. It’s an absolute disgrace!

    I wonder how Anna Brakel would react, if a bar without planning permission suddenly appeared immediately adjacent to HER garden fence?

    It will clearly have reduced the value of their property, nevermind the continuous intrusion on their privacy.

    Do the right thing Joules!

  14. I think it is obtrusive to the nearby Resodents both by sound and vision. Especially opposite where many are affected who weren’t before. The Lighting is borish and it impinges on the Residents. Cables even extend on to Highway, unprotected. . I say this as a passer by as I think it each time I pass. How awful for the poor nearby Residents. It simply is too Residential and wasn’t necessary .

  15. give them an inch and they will take a mile, what bare faced cheek adding what is in effect another pub in a shed, should be ashamed its downright invasion of the neighbours quite space they should feel free to enjoy next minute there will be the stink of burnt bangers on a BBQ

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