Backyard Battle: Wealthy Couple Ordered to Shut Unauthorised Swimming School
A wealthy couple, Andrew and Richelle Brooks, residing in Colden Common, near Winchester, Hampshire, are facing closure orders for their unauthorized swimming school in their backyard.
The school, named Little Otters Swim School, became a source of contention among nearby residents due to the disruptive noise generated by children participating in swimming lessons.
Neighbours vs. Swim School: Noise Complaints Lead to Closure Order
The Brooks’ unapproved venture drew the ire of local residents who complained about the constant noise emanating from the pool.
The ‘cacophony of noise,’ described as singing, whooping, and screaming, prompted homeowners to protest, claiming it disrupted their ability to enjoy peaceful activities such as reading, studying, and even sleeping.
The controversy escalated further as complaints extended to on-street parking issues caused by the swimming school’s clientele.
Controversy in Colden Common: The Turbulent Story of Little Otters Swim School
The dispute unfolded over two and a half years, with residents enduring the disruptive noise from Little Otters Swim School.
Despite the Brooks’ assertion that their neighbors’ objections were unfounded, the Winchester City Council Planning Committee unanimously rejected the couple’s retrospective application to change the property’s use from residential to a business.
Residential Rift: Community Outcry Forces Closure of Private Swim School
Residents, fed up with the ongoing disturbance, voiced their concerns during the council meeting. Complaints ranged from the noise’s impact on daily life to disruptions in studying, with one resident highlighting the challenges faced during A-Level studies due to the audible commotion.
The committee heard the residents’ plea and, considering the proximity of the swimming school to neighboring properties, deemed the noise levels potentially disruptive.
Legal Woes for Little Otters: Noise Complaints Prompt Planning Committee Rejection
Despite the Brooks’ arguments in favor of the swim school’s contributions to the community and their offer to soundproof the facility, the committee sided with the residents.
The decision to reject the application raised questions about the balance between community peace and the operation of private businesses in residential areas.
The couple now faces the possibility of shutting down Little Otters Swim School, with a six-month window to appeal the committee’s decision.