24-hour gym challenges fines for noise nuisance

A LOCAL gym was on the verge of being fined after environmental health officers backed repeated noise complaints from neighbours living in flats above.

(Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31524926)
(Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31524926)

Anytime Fitness is based on the site of the former Island Bowl in Victoria Avenue.

Its owner and operator, Extreme Leisure (Jersey) Ltd, has been in the Royal Court this week, challenging the environmental health officers’ decision to impose fines, and seeking a judicial review.

The 24-hour gym opened at Victoria Avenue on 15 November last year. But within a fortnight two neighbours in the flats above were complaining to the Office of Environmental Health and Pollution Regulation about noise from heavy weights being dropped on the floor, and amplified speech and music during classes, particularly in the evenings, late at night and early mornings.

Officers served abatement notices on the company in relation to this noise nuisance in January. But neighbour complaints continued, and so it installed recording equipment in a flat above the gym in March.

The company was making efforts to reduce noise in line with a compliance notice, including new flooring, but this was delayed arriving in the island. At the beginning of May it was given seven days to ensure that noise from weightlifting did not exceed the limit.

After that seven-day period, testing commenced and over the next 11 days it was found that there had been 341 breaches of weight noise limit requirements, and in a two-day period, 10 breaches of noise limits in relation to the speech and music notice.

The company was summonsed to appear before the Ordinary Division of the Royal Court in July.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the OEHPR sought to get the court to impose the given noise limits, and mete fines in respect of breaches of abatement notices issued between 10 and 17 May.

Extreme Leisure’s application for judicial review has been heard this week, and the court’s judgement will follow in due course.

The gym has stayed open throughout this time, and has sought to introduce a number of noise management measures.

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