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Residents Challenge to Impose Stricter Noise Limits

Gregory Jones QC

A couple whose house is 100 metres from Alton Towers failed in their High Court bid to turn down the volume coming from the theme park. A deputy district judge had imposed the maximum fine of £5000 and imposed an abatement order under s.82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Tussauds' appeal to the Crown Court resulted in the fine being cut to £3,500 and the order was made less strict, raising the permissible noise level from 32 to 40 decibels.

The Ropers appealed to the High Court, but Mr. Justice Wilkie held that the Crown Court was justified in refusing to impose a "more exacting standard" on Alton Towers. The High Court upheld the view of the Crown Court that having regard to the history and character of the area of which Alton Towers was a part, local residents "must expect some inconvenience from noise from Alton Towers".

Gregory Jones (instructed by Travers Smith) appeared for Tussauds Theme Parks Limited before the Crown Court and High Court.

Gregory Jones is a co-author of Statutory Nuisance (with Robert McCracken QC and James Pereira).