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Odiham play centre to close because 'children are too noisy'

3 minute read
Odiham play centre to close because 'children are too noisy'

Published at 5:02pm 16th November 2018.

A children's play centre in Odiham says it faces closure after complaints from neighbours over the amount of noise made by the kids there.

Little Play Town says it faces eviction after being served a noise abatement notice by Hart District Council, although it claims its visitors don't make anymore noise than you would "expect from any child, baby or adult at any nursery".

The council is blaming the noise on poor quality flooring in the building, but refused permission for sound proofing because of a "lack of detail provided" on how proposals would impact its listed structure.

Virna Browne, owner of the centre, says closure would put at risk family savings of £85,000 and also see 10 staff lose their jobs, just a year after the centre opened.

She said:

"We had no idea that the building would provide issues when we signed the lease and we never had any intention to make a noise and upset anyone.

"We've been working every day for over a year to rectify the problems that the neighbours have subsequently had, but frustratingly the Council has turned down the planning application.

"As we can’t fix it, the landlord is evicting us.

"We feel we have been treated very unfairly by some of those opposed to our business."

Virna said the final straw was when, after giving prior notice to the council, neighbours and the landlord, a complaint was made ahead of a planned party for children with disabilities.

Nick Steevens, Head of Regulatory Services at Hart District Council, said:

"Following the investigation it was concluded that noise nuisance was occurring and as such the Council issued a Noise Abatement notice.

"Since then the Council has been working with the business owner to investigate solutions to reduce the impact of noise resulting from the poor quality of flooring in the building.

"Throughout this case the Council has worked proactively with both parties to try and find a resolution and give reasonable time to address the issue."

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