THE decision to refuse the Lock, Stock and Barrel permission to stay open one hour longer at weekends illustrates the difficulties of trying to put a youngsters' pub close to a residential area. We have considerable sympathy with both sides.

On the one hand the people who frequent the pub on weekends are clearly a strange breed with severe hearing difficulties. The sound is turned up so loud that it is impossible to hold a conversation with a person standing more than six inches away.

What that means for people nearby is that nights are accompanied by the sound of a dull thud, boom-booming its way around the neighbourhood.

On the other hand the place is clearly liked by younger generations, who do not understand the concept of "a quiet drink". And extending a convivial night's drinking after last orders has been called is a long standing Dales custom. It seems odd that we should see middle-aged people enjoying a bit of "after hours" as harmless fun but youngsters wishing to indulge in something similar are branded anti-social. Their only alternative at the moment is to brave the interior of Bliss nightclub.

Perhaps the answer lies in that decibel level that Lock Stock and Barrel customers have to endure (surely they haven't asked for it to be so loud).

If only the owners would just turn the volume down, they might well have received a more sympathetic response. How about applying again with a strict decibel limit. We could support a measure that would be a compromise for local residents and the younger generation alike.