A woman who says that she has been plagued for years by anti-social behaviour and noise emanating from a basketball court next to her home has failed to convince the High Court that it was irrational of planners to allow the facility’s use at all hours of the day and night.
The court had a lengthy planning history and, on a number of previous occasions, the local authority and Government planning inspectors had taken the view that it should only be used during daylight hours. However, that restriction was eventually lifted pursuant to an application made by the local parish council.
In challenging that decision, the woman argued that her enjoyment of her home had been badly affected since the court opened in 2001 despite her attempts to mitigate the problem at her own expense, including through the installation of acoustic fencing.
The Court acknowledged that it was ‘troubled’ by arguments that the decision was perverse in the light of previous rulings by planners that night-time use of the court was unacceptable. However, in dismissing the woman’s challenge, the Court noted that, in the interim, skateboard facilities had been relocated, CCTV equipment had been installed and sound insulation material had been attached to the backboards of the basketball hoops.
The judge said, “I have ultimately concluded that the decision cannot be properly characterised as one which was irrational. The issue was one over which reasonable people could reach a reasonable decision without that decision always being the same. I am not satisfied that the decision which was arrived at, albeit a departure from all previous assessments, was one which was irrational and which the court should characterise as legally flawed.”