Plans for St Albans trampoline park jump ahead after bid given green light

PUBLISHED: 14:58 05 November 2015

The empty warehouse where a change of use has been applied for to open a trampoline park

The empty warehouse where a change of use has been applied for to open a trampoline park

Archant

Expansion of a trampoline business into St Albans can now go ahead after there was a backflip over its rejection.

Neighbours of a empty industrial unit on the outskirts of the city have been fighting against a proposed change of use which would result in it being converted into a large indoor trampoline park with 105 parking spaces.

But following an appeal against the district council’s rejection of the scheme, proposed to be developed at Unit 1, Alban Park, near Homebase off Hatfield Road, planning inspector David Spencer gave the project the green light, saying it would provide employment and a “distinctive leisure facility”.

The go-ahead, granted on Monday (2), means that applicants Luke and Sarah Sims can now expand into St Albans – they currently operate Gravity Force in Camberley, which was opened last year.

But their application for a full award of costs against the council was refused by the inspector, who said they had failed to show the authority had been unreasonable and that they had incurred unnecessary expenses.

Mr Spencer said the main issues in the appeal were the possible impact of noise and disturbance for people in Cranbrook Drive and highway safety in Alban Park.

However, he noted, the trampoline park “would not significantly harm the living conditions” of neighbouring residents, and the scheme’s provision for 105 parking spaces was “acceptable”.

The inspector said he could set conditions on the hours of use to protect against noise between 10.30pm and 9am.

While he noted residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour, he found “little evidence that such issues would materialise at the appeal site”.

Worries about additional air pollution were also dismissed.

The decision has been criticised by councillor for Colney Heath Chris Brazier, who said: “I’m very disappointed for people in Cranbrook Drive and other neighbouring residents, and also for the industrial users at the site, because they are going to have to be looking out for cars and children. Having a leisure centre at an industrial site isn’t the right place.

“I’m not totally surprised, because I knew it would be an uphill battle to stop it.”

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