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Last Updated: Monday, 1 November, 2004, 18:10 GMT
Fun park fined for noise levels
Oblivion ride at Alton Towers
Alton Towers says the judgement is not in the interests of the community
The owners of Alton Towers have been fined 5,000 after a court upheld complaints from a couple living nearby.

A noise abatement notice was also served after a private prosecution was brought by Stephen and Suzanne Roper.

The couple, who live 100 yards from the Staffordshire theme park, had claimed ride noise and screaming had made their lives a "nightmare".

Tussauds Theme Parks, which owns Alton Towers, says it will appeal against the decision.

'Quality of life'

Speaking after the hearing at Stafford Crown Court, the couple said they hoped that the theme park would stick to the terms of the order.

"I think it's time that Alton Towers started to listen to the people who live around it and think about their quality of life," Mrs Roper said.

"We have been in the hamlet for 36 years and we have seen the place change incredibly in that time.

She added: "There's a big majority out there who don't like what goes on and don't like to make a fuss."

In a statement, Alton Towers said it did not believe the judgement was in the best interests of the community:

'Unreasonable conditions'

"Alton Towers is obviously disappointed that the District Judge today imposed what we believe are unreasonable conditions in his Abatement Order.

"We have been hugely encouraged by the overwhelming support we have had from our local community.

"We take our role in that community seriously, both as the county's biggest employer, and as a catalyst for many other jobs and prosperity for local businesses.

"As we have made clear, we will be appealing against this judgment, which we do not believe to be in the best interests of our business or the broader local community."

It concluded: "But the fact is, we are a theme park - one of a few safe environments in which the whole family can let off steam and have some fun together - and we make no apology for that."

In August, the Ropers won a ruling from North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court that the noise caused by annual firework displays and screams from people on the park's rides constituted a statutory nuisance.

The costs of the couples' action against the theme park is estimated to have cost them 250,000.


SEE ALSO:
Couple fail in fireworks ban bid
19 Oct 04  |  Staffordshire
Fun park 'makes too much noise'
02 Aug 04  |  Staffordshire
Fun park screams 'cause misery'
15 Jul 04  |  Staffordshire
Theme park 'pushing absenteeism'
21 Apr 04  |  Staffordshire


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