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New legal challenge from the Ropers

In the News
Tuesday, 9th September 2008 By Dan Ketteringham

Stephen and Suzanne Roper are once again making a legal challenge against Alton Towers over alleged noise issues.

The last episode in this now long-running saga occurred nearly a year and a half ago, when the Ropers took Alton Towers to the High Court.

Originally the couple, who live in Farley next to the resort, had succeeded in having a Noise Abatement Order placed on the park in 2005. This decision was appealed by the park's then owners, Tussauds, who lost their appeal but managed to renegotiate the terms of the Order in the process, so that the restrictions were more lenient.

Following that, the Ropers took the case to the High Court to try and overturn the 'less strict' terms of the Order - however, their case was rejected by the Judge, who said that residents must expect some noise from the park.

Timeline: Ropers Vs. Alton Towers
Year Event
1920s Alton Towers becomes a visitor attraction
1969 Ropers move in
1980 First roller coaster installed
2004 Ropers get Noise Abatement Order imposed
2005 Tussauds unsuccessfully appeals; terms of Order renegotiated
2007 Ropers unsuccessfully try to get new Order terms overturned at the High Court
2008 Ropers take Alton Towers to court for alleged breach of Order

Seemingly attempting a new tack, the Ropers are now claiming that Alton Towers have breached the terms of the Noise Abatement Order. As a result, a court hearing is scheduled to take place in a week's time, on Monday 15th September, at North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court.

Many local residents rely on the resort for their B&Bs, as well as local pubs and hotels, and are concerned that the actions of what appears to be the minority are once again threatening their livelihoods. Jane Pickles, the landlady at Ye Olde Star Inn in Cotton, said: "This sort of thing can affect trade. I used to live right next to Mr Roper and I never heard any noise."

A spokesperson for Alton Towers said: "We believe there is no basis for this prosecution. Alton Towers is and has been operating within the noise limits.

"Our lawyers have advised us that there are preliminary legal and technical issues which should be addressed before there is any trial."

Source: The Sentinel

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