A PUB fell silent on New Year’s Eve for the first time in 40 years last night, after the council refused it a late-night music licence.

Ye Olde Boot and Shoe, on Millar Barn Lane in Waterfoot, was forced to close its doors before midnight after objections from neighbours about noise from three other functions last month.

Owner Witold Warchalowski, who took over the former nightclub in 1979, said: “It’s a bit sad for our regulars and the visitors who come every year to see in the New Year with us.”

Rossendale Council refused the late music licence because of complaints about noise from a funeral, a karaoke night and an 18th birthday party on three weekends last month, despite Mr Warchalowski and licensee Helen Rawstron taking steps to mitigate the noise.

The nearby Jolly Sailors, which has a weekday late music licence, was open at midnight.

Now Cllr Jackie Oakes, deputy leader of Rossendale Council, and Whitewell ward’s Cllr Karl Kempson have vowed to resolve the problem so New Year’s Eve can go ahead next year.

Mr Warchalowski said yesterday: “We have seen the New Year in without trouble for all the 39 years I have owned it.

“We only have a late music licence for weekends so needed one for New Year’s Eve because it was a Tuesday.

“Someone objected because, unusually, we had three weekend events with music in December. The council refused the licence.

“We have taken measures to reduce the noise but the council would not change their minds.

“It’s very sad for us, for our regulars and the many visitors who have been coming for years to celebrate with us.

“New Year’s Eve is a big night for us at a time when pubs are struggling. We would usually take £3,500. We’ll be lucky to take a few hundred.

“The Jolly Sailors a few hundred yards away will be open to see in the New Year so I suppose some of our customers will go there. Helen and I will just stay in the pub and watch Jools Holland on the TV after closing.

“We are going to take further measures to ensure the celebration goes ahead next year.”

A Rossendale Council spokesman said: “We are sorry the event has been cancelled but we have a duty to protect residents living nearby from public nuisance. We have had a number of complaints. The application was put in late which means there is no right of appeal.”

Cllr Oakes said: “I will look into this and see what measures can be taken so the celebration can go ahead next year.”

Cllr Kempson said: “It is a bit sad. I will talk to people to see what can be done so the event takes place in 2020.”