Motorcycle school plans stall over noise complaints
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The owner of a motorcycle school has been forced to scrap plans for a new training centre in Diss because of concerns from neighbouring businesses about noise.
Plans to turn an overflow car park for staff and customers at the Simonds Coaches depot on Oak Drive into a training area for learner bikers had drawn objections from companies based in the adjacent Diss Business Hub.
An application for a change of use for the site to allow training for up to eight students six days per week between the hours of 8.30am and 5pm had been due to be discussed at South Norfolk Council's planning development committee.
Alan Stevens, co-owner of both the Norwich and the Harleston and Diss franchises of Camrider Motorcycle Training, has now withdrawn his plans saying he felt he had no alternative as they had been recommended for refusal.
He said: "There were about 12 objections in total from neighbouring businesses about noise which I find quite amazing to be honest. We are talking about 50cc and 125cc motorcycles that don't give out any more noise than a car and the site is currently a car park. It is also gravel and we were going to put tarmac down which would actually reduce noise."
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Amongst those to lodge objections were Diss Business Hub owners Reads Property Developments. In their submission commercial manager Paul Downing said: "We are extremely concerned that the proposed change of use will result in noise disturbance to both our tenants and our users of the meeting and conference rooms which are in daily use resulting in our tenants relocating to alternative premises."
Mr Stevens said Camrider assisted with road safety and casualty reduction, particularly targeted at vulnerable 16-year-old road users, and he was now working with South Norfolk Council and the national Camrider franchise to try to find another suitable location.
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He said: "We are obviously disappointed but we will continue to look for an alternative site. Our current training area was at the Apollo centre in Harleston but that has recently been sold for development so we have had to move.
"We have seen a couple of potential locations. We would like it to be in Diss perhaps somewhere that is not close to other businesses where noise might not be such an issue."