The owner of Leyland’s new indoor skate park is preparing to fork out thousands of pounds to sound-proof the popular venue.
Peter Chandler opened The Warehouse Leyland in Talbot Road just six weeks ago, and already has 1,000 people signed up for membership.
But when South Ribble Council received a noise complaint from a nearby neighbour, it discovered Mr Chandler didn’t actually have the right planning permission to use his warehouse for leisure facilities in the first place.
Now, he’s been ordered to submit a retrospective planning application, and slash his hours so that there is no noise coming from the site in the evenings.
He said: “I’m losing a lot of money now because we rely on being open in the evenings to attract our adult customers, who work during the daytime.
“Now the kids are back at school as well, we’re really starting to struggle, so we’re desperate to get our original opening hours back.”
Mr Chandler said he approached the council before he started work on the building, which he invested £100,000 into for skate board and BMX enthusiasts to have somewhere to enjoy their hobbies in Leyland.
“I was told I didn’t need to submit a planning application because there’s a dance school as part of the Talbot Road unit which already has the leisure use permission,” he said.
“I was told we already had the necessary permission from that, but when the council started looking through the documents after this noise complaint, they discovered that my part of the industrial unit doesn’t have the permission, so I’ve had to submit a retrospective application.
“I’ve also paid £1,600 for a noise survey as part of the process, so I hope this all pays off.
“The application is for the whole facility, and includes the original opening hours. If we get approval, it means we can go back to opening in the evenings, which is what we really want.”
He is now looking to sound-proof the venue to increase his chances of getting permission for the skate park to stay open.
If the retrospective plan is turned down, he may have to close altogether.
“We’re not getting enough money to pay staff wages at the moment,” he admitted. “My two sons and daughter are running it, so we’re really hoping this works out for us in the end.
“I thought the council was really on board with this. I was even invited to speak to members of the public about the scheme at the last ‘My Neighbourhood Forum’ meeting which the council held.
“I know the council has to do something now this has come to light, but I didn’t think one complaint could have such a drastic effect.”
The council has now confirmed that there have been ‘several’ complaints from nearby residents about noise.
Coun Jon Hesketh, Chair of South Ribble Council’s planning committee, said: “The council has received a retrospective planning application for the skateboard park at Units 7 and 25 on Talbot Road Industrial Centre and we are working with the applicant to resolve a number of issues.
“We have asked for a noise assessment of the building and we will be discussing the findings with the applicant.
“We wrote to Mr Chandler in March this year saying he would need to apply for planning permission to change the use of Unit 25 to an indoor skateboard park.
“However, since then there seems to have been some uncertainty over the exact unit he planned to use.
“We recognise the skate park is very popular with young people, but as with any planning application, our priority is to ensure we carefully consider the proposals and any comments received to make a balanced decision.”
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