Littleport charity keeps fingers, toes and laces crossed for dance hall planning consent

THE last dance may come sooner than intended for a charity group in Littleport if councillors vote to reject its bid for permission to continue running a dance hall.

Young People Littleport (YPL) has been holding classes in a new dance studio and hall in Victoria Street since February but was told by East Cambridgeshire District Council in September that it did not have the correct planning permission.

The charity submitted an application for retrospective permission but neighbours of the building, which used to be a supermarket, have been quick to complain, claiming the building will create a noise nuisance.

In consultation with the council, Gordon Foster, owner of several properties in Victoria Street, said: “We are most concerned that our tenants quiet enjoyment of their properties will be compromised if this application is approved.”

William Rayment, of Victoria Street, told planners: “We now have a dance hall with a glass-fronted building, which is proposed to open seven days and nights.

“This has been sound-proofed but with the constant thump thump of the base can be unbearable even with all our windows closed.”

Last night, as the Ely Standard went to press, councillors on the district council’s planning committee were considering whether to grant the hall permission, with the possibility that it could be forced to stop operating if permission is rejected.

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In his submission to the council, YPL founder Phil Malkin said: “YPL has been in Grandy Street for over five years and, to my knowledge, not one complaint has been made about any activities at the centre.

“Considering our track record so far, I feel I am more than able to assure all residents within the vicinity of 11 Victoria Street that we will not hold any activities which will cause any offence.”

Mr Malkin added that, should permission be granted, he would seek to install new acoustic curtains to ensure any noise was mitigated.