RESIDENTS living near to a busy town centre bar have likened the area to a "battle zone" and say it has been "absolutely horrendous" since it opened.

Owners of The Yellow Earl have been given permission to change the business use from a restaurant to a bar.

At a council planning meeting last week, frustrated residents living close to the Lowther Street venue, spoke out about the problems, which include people urinating on walls, throwing objects and "unacceptable" noise levels.

But the owners say procedures have been put in place to address noise disruption as well as other concerns.

Tracy Trainor, who lives behind the Yellow Earl said the pub should have been sound proofed.

"I'm also concerned there's been a gate open at the back of this property on to School House Lane. I've seen people coming out of there, looking for somewhere to vomit, instead of going into the toilets in the pub, coming out to the beer garden at the rear.

"There's been people urinating on the walls as they've come out this pub.

"It's been absolutely horrendous. It affects your health. They can be having their own party, a lock-in, or whatever it is, outside until 5 o'clock in the morning. You can have all your doors and your windows shut and all of this noise is coming in.

"I've had things thrown at the property I live in. There's been heavy objects thrown from the beer garden.

"Residents in a residential area are expected to put up with all this."

Jean Gordon, who also lives close to the Yellow Earl, said: "The noises from the back yard which is yards from my bedroom wall is completely unacceptable. It's like a battle zone. I had to put in triple glazing, blackout curtains and buy a radio to block out the noises.

"The chiller unit really is a form of torture. They have had since September last year to cover this in and they haven't done so.

"I'm delighted to hear the outdoor use is to stop at 9 for entertainment purposes however, it is the smokers and drinkers outside that create as much noise.

"For the past 15 months, The Yellow Earl has bombarded our area with musical events and placed anti-social, alcohol fuelled behaviour in the heart of our community. This would not have been tolerated for a day in other leafy residential areas of town.

"It's just not acceptable. I was here before The Yellow Earl, having lived in my flat very happily for 11 years."

Speaking at the meeting, Liz Cannon, who owns the Yellow Earl with Danny Maudling, said: "The gate is not used for exit out onto School House Lane. There is a sign up and it is policed. I too, am a resident on Lowther Street. I cannot hear The Yellow Earl from my bedroom.

"The noise monitoring that was taken by Environmental Health - levels were at 40 decibels which can be compared to a library.

"Procedures have been put in place to minimise the noise disruption caused. We are not looking to open the rear area during night time hours and we believe it is reasonable in a town centre environment for there to be noise from many different outlets during day time hours."

Councillors voted seven to one to approve the retrospective application, with conditions that the outdoor area closes at 9pm and is not used for entertainment purposes. The noise from the chiller and external lighting should also be controlled.