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Neighbours force swimming pool next door to close after moaning about noisy children

A swim school has forced to close after neighbours complained children making “whooping” noises.

Andrew and Richelle Brooks opened Little Otters Swim School in the garden of their five-bedroom home in Colden Common, near Winchester, Hampshire, in March 2021.

The couple said they opened the school due to a lack of facilities for children with learning difficulties and swim schools.

However, the neighbours made complaints claiming they heard “singing, whooping and screaming” at the pool.

The swim school has been ordered to shut down


Now, Winchester City Council has ordered them to shut down the swim school after rejecting a retrospective planning application to use the house as a business.

Brooks told Winchester City Council’s planning committee: “We live in the home where these lessons are conducted from and we’re not disturbed at all – it’s just a little bit unreasonable.

“Where do you take children with disabilities, or special needs, that need quiet swimming?”

The council’s planning committee was told that lessons lasted 30 minutes with up to four children at a time.

Winchester City Council

The committee unanimously voted to refuse the retrospective planning applicatio

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Lessons at the house cost £16.50 and took place Monday to Wednesday from 9.30am to 11.30am and 3.30pm to 7pm as well as further times on Thursdays.

One of those speaking at the hearing was Dr Adelaide Morris, who lives next door to the Brooks.

She said her family had been “severely disturbed by a cacophony of noise”.

Morris told a council meeting: “Singing, whooping, screaming from instructors, carers and children – worse still when the roof is retracted. Our normal lives cannot continue until the lessons end.”

She added: “This swim school is noisy and disruptive to the entire neighbourhood.

“We’ve put up with this for two and a half years – we are suffering.”

The committee unanimously voted to refuse the retrospective planning application, saying it risked becoming a “real nuisance”.

The couple said they plan to appeal the decision.

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