Edinburgh residents say constant noise from beach volleyball at Liberton High School means they can no longer sit in their gardens
Residents near Edinburgh’s Liberton High School say they can no longer sit out in their gardens because of the constant noise from the school’s beach volleyball court.
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The school made history earlier this year when it built Scotland’s first permanent school-based beach volleyball facility.
But neighbours say they were never consulted or even notified about the development and now they are upset at the disruption the volleyball games are causing them.
David Jones who lives in Greenend Gardens, says his house is just 30 yards from the volleyball court and the noise in relentless.
He said: "At weekends they’re using it 8am-10pm on Saturday and Sunday and during the week when the school closes at 4pm, they're in from 4pm until 10pm.
“Then last weekend there was an international tournament – that was 8am till 10pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was thud, thud, thud all day, the referee was blowing a whistle about half a dozen times every minute and there were crowds cheering. The noise levels were just unbearable."
He said living next to a school, the residents expected activities to be going on in the grounds. “But you don't expect 8am till 10pm with an activity that causes so much noise you can't sit out in your back garden.
“We have no peace and nobody's listening to us. The international tournament was the last straw because the noise levels. I had to leave the house – I couldn't stand it.
"Surely we should be able to expect some restriction on the times they can use it. They shouldn't have carte blanche to upset every day of our lives.”
Mr Jones had a conversation with the school’s head teacher Stephen Kelly about residents’ concerns. “He said he would have to consult with the education department, but he admitted no-one had given any thought to noise or the effect on neighbours.”
Linda Dodds, who has lived in Greenend Gardens for 30 years, said she could not understand why the residents were not informed of the development over the fence from their gardens and the implications of noise.
“We bought the house knowing it was overlooking a school and it would be noisy during the week, but Saturdays and Sundays and school holidays would be quiet, and up till now that has been the case.”
And she would like the volleyball court relocated to another part of the school grounds.
“We can't understand why the court was built where it is because there's loads of land at the school – they could have put it somewhere that's not so near houses and wouldn't impact.
“We have spent a lot of money over the years in developing our garden into a peaceful place to sit out and enjoy it. I feel I cannot ask friends over as the noise is spoiling the ambience we have worked so hard to create.”
The city council said planning permission was not needed for the volleyball facility because it is classed as permitted development by a local authority, under four metres high and costing less than £250k.
A council spokesman said: “The school is aware of the noise complaints and a meeting has taken place between the head teacher and Mr Jones to discuss the issues raised.”