St Albans trampoline park loses extended opening hours bid
PUBLISHED: 15:00 31 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:06 31 October 2016
Gravity Force has been brought down to earth with its bid to extend the opening hours of a trampoline park failing to impress St Albans councillors.
The company launched the new trampoline park at Alban Park in Hatfield Road, St Albans, in mid August but less than two months later, it applied for planning permission to open half an hour earlier each morning.
No changes were proposed to the closing times.
But councillors on St Albans planning south committee agreed with ward councillor Chris Brazier that earlier opening hours, whether they be on weekdays or at weekends, were unacceptable and could cause further noise and loss of privacy to neighbours.
Gravity Force opens between 10am and 9pm Mondays to Thursdays, from 9am until 10pm Fridays and Saturdays and between 9am and 9pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
The company wanted the earlier opening time to allow for customer safety briefings ahead of the first jump session and had assumed that it could do so even though physical activity could not begin until 30 minutes later..
But after discussions with the council, it realised that the hours laid down in the planning approval was the total time customers could spend in the building.
Cllr Brazier ‘called in’ two applications regarding earlier opening hours to the committee because of the impact on residents in terms of further noise and loss of privacy.
After the meeting, he said that the application had been submitted before the soundproofing of the buildings had been completed and ‘any earlier opening would disturb residents” who were already living with constant music.
He went on: “They have only been open since August 17 and now they want extra opening hours when they haven’t finished the building.”
Cllr Brazier also pointed out that the opening hours had been agreed by the planning inspector who had granted permission for the trampoline park on appeal. He said: “The inspector went to look at how close residential properties are and said these are the opening hours.”
He added: “A couple of councillors voted in favour because they felt what is half an hour but when you have a planning inspector giving guidance, you shouldn’t go against it.”