New bowling alley could be too noisy for its neighbours in Walton-le-Dale, warn environmental health officers

The bowling venue would be open until 2,30am
The bowling venue would be open until 2,30am
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A proposed new tenpin bowling alley on the outskirts of Preston risks causing a noise nuisance to nearby residents, according to environmental health officers.

Plans for the venue on the Capitol Centre in Walton-le-Dale are due to be considered by South Ribble Borough Council’s licensing committee next week. But the authority’s own experts have warned that potential noise issues have not been adequately dealt with in the application.

However, papers to be presented to the committee acknowledge that leisure company ‘Tenpin’ is working to address officers’ concerns.

The firm wants to open the 21-lane bowling attraction in part of the unit which housed the Fabb Sofas store until June 2018 and which is currently vacant.

Under the proposal, the venue would be open from 9am until 2.30am seven days a week, serving alcohol until 2am. Live or pre-recorded music would also be permitted until the same time.

But senior environmental health officer Andrew Howard has written to the committee outlining the risk that noise could emanate from the glass frontage of the building - which has been described as being of “unknown acoustic quality” - and directly through the main entrance.

Residential properties are located just 50 metres away from the site.

Mr. Howard notes that the rest of the Capitol Centre closes at 8.30pm and that the proposed bowling alley would become “the most significant noise source in the area once the traffic dies down”.

His letter also states that the on-site car park closes late in the evening, potentially forcing Tenpin customers to park in surrounding streets.

Seven objections to the proposal from the public have also been lodged.

It would not be the first time that the Capitol Centre has hosted a bowling alley - the same company operated the Mega Bowl venue in what is now the Waitrose store until 2011, but that facility was not situated as close to housing as the current proposal.

A separate application to obtain planning permission to split the property into the bowling alley and a separate retail unit is expected to be decided by officers before the end of the year.

Bedford-based Tenpin - which operates over 40 other bowling venues across the UK - has been approached for comment. In their planning application, they state that the proposal will create jobs and “fill what would otherwise be an empty retail unit”.