COUNCILLORS have rejected planning advice and refused Scarborough’s £4 million rugby club permission to use a public address system at first team home games and sporting festivals.
The move means that the club, which is based at Silver Royd in Scalby Road, will have to ask permission before every game or revise its application and resubmit it.
The matter was discussed at yesterday’s meeting of Scarborough Council’s Planning Committee at the Town Hall.
Nick Read, from the council’s planning department said that the announcements would be at 13 home games and four festivals or significant matches.
The application received 129 objections and the complaints related mainly to the levels of noise. Mr Read said that people “did not have a right to silence” but should be protected from ongoing or sustained noise levels. Both Newby & Scalby Parish Council and Burniston Parish Council strongly objected to the proposals.
A club spokesman said: “The success of Scarborough Rugby Club has led to bigger matchday crowds. It needs some sort of sound equipment at events.”
But a spokesman for local residents said: “No assessment report has been submitted or offered. There were two outside events and the noise that emanated from these events to people nearby was totally unacceptable. Noise could be heard as far away as Burniston and Station Road.”
Cllr Martin Smith asked whether it would be wise to carry out a noise impact assessment?
Steve Reynolds, from the council’s environmental health department, said it was not like a factory which would produce levels of noise for significant periods of time. He added: “They are quick tannoy announcements. The only result that would give you is that it’s not going to present a problem. It’s a big site and it’s some distance away. You might not hear anything – it would depend on the wind direction.”
Cllr Dorothy Clegg said: “There’s a tenancy for noise to carry over distance that maybe people didn’t expect. I can’t vote for this unless I know there’s going to be a fixed and limited number of events.”
But Cllr Colin Haddington said he supported the plan. He said: “At a sporting event the announcements are limited. If you take in the course of a game all these tannoy announcements and condensed them they are only a matter of minutes.”
Cllr Mick Jay-Hanmer said: “It’s a great shame that this wasn’t sorted when it was built in the first place.”
When the committee voted six members voted for refusal and four members supported it.