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A boxing gym has been given the green light to stay open despite “blighting the life of neighbours”.
Ringmaster Boxing Gym, in Rayleigh Road, Eastwood, has been operating without planning permission for some time but has now had retrospective plans approved.
At a development control meeting on Wednesday, Southend councillors heard noise and disturbance from the boxing club, previously used as a storage facility, has been causing problems for those living nearby.
One neighbour, Mrs Catchpole, said: “The noise and nuisance problems started approximately 18 months ago when we continually heard loud shouting and disconcerting noises coming from the neighbouring brick building.
“The noise is daily from the punchbags being used plus shouting from the instructor.
“This goes on from 9am to 2pm and then 4pm to 8pm and 9pm, seven days a week.
“This continual noise prevents us from enjoying the use of our garden, especially during the last 18 months of COVID and has affected our health and wellbeing, especially mine. I’m suffering from depression, I am disabled. I need to get out in the fresh air and the garden is my only respite as I can’t walk far.”
Planning officers recommended permission be granted, as long as windows and vents were kept closed and air conditioning was installed.
Paul Collins, Lib Dem councillor for Eastwood Park ward, said: “As ward councillor listening to the wider community I’ve received many supporting commentaries about the club and the way it is run and it has a positive effect on the young people that attend it.
“It is an asset as it is currently structured. I’m very pleased with the officer’s report. It’s gone a long way to mitigating the noises by having all windows and vents closed while in use, air conditioning to be installed and a noise assessment. If it is not suitable then this permission is suggested to be withdrawn until it is.
“I feel this is an equitable solution and should make lives easier for the close by residents and the community as a whole do want it succeed.”