Theme park bosses are to launch a last-ditch bid to overturn a controversial noise abatement order.
A two-week appeal against the order imposed on Alton Towers gets under way at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court today.
Alton Towers hopes to persuade the court to lift the order imposed on the park after pottery boss Stephen Roper and his wife Suzanne successfully argued that it was in breach of the Environmental Protection Act.
The Farley couple brought their private prosecution against Alton Towers claiming the noise from rides and firework displays had made their lives a misery for 25 years.
The theme park believes the order is unreasonable and impractical, a view shared by many local businesses.
If it is allowed to stand, the noise abatement order will restrict Alton Towers to one half-hour firework display a year, and many B&Bs and guest houses fear this will have a devastating effect on their late-season trade.
The displays, which last five days in autumn, usually attract tens of thousands of visitors to the area at what is usually a quiet time of the year.
Sandra Venables, who owns the Malthouse bed and breakfast in Alton, said: "I hope the appeal is successful and that the decision that was made is overturned.
"I agree wholeheartedly that Alton Towers should be able to hold their fireworks display.
"It's only once a year, at the same time as an awful lot of other places. If Alton Towers are stopped it would set a precedent for all the other fire displays."
Alton Towers had circulated notices warning people about the recent BT event, assuring them that it would be stringently supervised, but some residents believe that if the park wins its appeal it will have carte blanche to be as noisy as it likes.
Richard Goodall, one of Mr Roper's neighbours in Farley, said: "I hope there is a sensible solution for everybody, particularly the people of Farley. Everyone has got to follow the rules for noise pollution, whether that's Alton Towers or anybody else."
Alton Towers declined to make any comment ahead of the appeal, which is expected to last two weeks.
Source: The Sentinel