A retrospective planning application for a military-style bootcamp currently operating at Heydour, has been deferred by South Kesteven District Council’s development control committee.
Since last summer the fitness training business ‘Team Bootcamp’ has been run by Craig and Paula Williams from Heydour House, a grade II listed property.
However the application for change of use from residential to mixed use only came before SKDC’s planning committee today, and after coming close to approval, it was deferred.
As well as providing clients with accommodation in the house, ‘Team Bootcamp’ runs outdoor exercise sessions on its ‘trim trail’ of obstacles located in the property’s grounds.
The main objection raised by nearby residents has been the noise generated by staff and clients on this ‘trim trail’, due to its close proximity to Heydour’s cemetery and to Heydour Priory, a grade II* listed home.
Chairman of Heydour with Aisby and Oasby Parish Council, Mike Bromige, said: “The noise from the bootcamp has been very intrusive, with music and shouted commands.”
Resident Andy Soper added: “The hamlet comprises of our cemetery, church and eight houses. It is an extremely quiet area and the cemetery has always been a place of peace.
“There is a huge amount of intrusive noise from the bootcamp, totally unsuitable for our small hamlet. It is upsetting for those visiting graves of loved ones.”
However joint business owner and applicant Mr Williams highlighted that since opening and receiving objections to the noise, they had reacted to the complaints and not played music since April 3. He said: “We are not only client focused but highly community focused.
He added: “We have taken great steps to reduce the noise, and have created a noise and disturbance management plan. The local parish council are invited to come in and get involved with it.”
During the meeting it was suggested by members of the public that land to the north-east of the current trail would be more suitable for the outdoor activites. Some also made reference to the potential of financial assistance from the community in order to facilitate the move.
The alternative area proposed is not currently part of Mr and Mrs Williams’ tenant agreement with the landowners.
An initial proposal to approve the application in line with the planning officer’s recommendations was narrowly rejected by eight votes to seven, with one abstention.
A second vote for the application’s deferral, to allow the applicant to come back with an amended or new application, was then approved by 14 votes to two.
Councillor Judy Stevens said: “I hope that then an alternative can be found that would benefit the whole community and we can move on into a situation of compromise rather than a situation of acrimony.”