Bouncy castle owner forced to limit fun - after one complaint

The bouncy castle at Straiton Place Park, Portobello. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The bouncy castle at Straiton Place Park, Portobello. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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A bouncy castle owner has been forced to take action to block out the noise it makes – after just one complaint.

Albert Reid was forced to pack up his £30,000 inflatable playground in April after a neighbour objected.

Now he has returned to its Portobello site, but must put mufflers over the bouncy castle’s blowers.

He has also been told he can only operate at weekends, instead of right through the lucrative summer holidays.

Mr Reid, who has lived in the seaside town his entire life, returned to Straiton Place Park on Saturday and is waiting on his mufflers arriving from the Netherlands. The 40-year-old said: “Portobello is historic for its entertainment culture, its amusement arcades, carousels and so on.

“It’s a typical seaside resort, so living on the promenade, you should expect noise anyway regardless of whether my business is there or not. To be honest, even before I ordered the mufflers, I didn’t think the inflatable playground made that much noise.

“Portobello is now a very affluent area, but I like to play a part in keeping up its original traditions.

“It’s good to be back because myself and my family have run amusements in Portobello for years, but I feel we’ve had a bit of an unfair run.”

Portobello community council held a consultation following the April complaint and found that the majority of locals backed the bouncy castle at weekends.

Geoff Lynn, the chairman of Portobello community council, said: “It has been warmly received and now this gives the operator a chance to operate, while the kids get a chance to play.

“I’m glad a compromise has been reached to resolve the situation.”

But Mr Reid, who also owns Reid’s Amusements, said: “It’s a lot of work putting the inflatable up to bring it back down again two days later.”

One local resident, who did not want to be named and who voted in favour of the bouncy castle, said the children’s activity should be encouraged. She said: “It brings life, colour and vibrancy to the area and it’s what we want to encourage.

“As for noise, this is a ‘red herring’ for a lot of Porty initiatives. On a sunny day, noise levels will increase substantially, regardless of whether we have a bouncy castle with a generator.”

Councillor Maureen Child, said: “I think it’s great that the bouncy castle is back and a compromise has been found.

“There are a lot of people who are happy to see the return of Mr Reid.

“However, it is quite a hassle for him to have to take the inflatable playground down and put it back up again every weekend.

“I am hoping that people will give him a great deal of support.”