Bradford gym owner’s fury over noise inquiry

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Julie Kent with her son James Julie Kent with her son James

A gym owner has reported Bradford Council to a watchdog over its handling of a noise complaint regarding her business.

Julie Kent, who runs Kents Fitness with her son James, said she is so frustrated she would move the business to another city if she could.

She wants the Council to apologise and pay towards her legal fees after the investigation and outcome of the complaint, which has taken 21 months to conclude.

The Council received complaints about noise from classes at the fitness centre in Undercliffe Road in May 2012 and began a prosecution in August 2012. The case was due to go to trial at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court in July, 2013, but that was called off after Miss Kent accepted a formal caution.

She said she was also asked to pay £2,500 towards Council legal fees and a further £2,500 to environmental health – later reduced to £2,500.

But after paying a £500 instalment she stopped the payments and the case was back before magistrates last week where it was dismissed.

“After the first payment, I thought, this can’t be right, so we asked for the equipment back,” she said.

The Council now has to give back Miss Kent’s equipment and she is expecting the £500 to be returned.

But Miss Kent, who has run her business for 22 years, said she asked the Council not to take the case back to court, anticipating that it would be thrown-out, and wants her legal costs paying for that hearing.

“I’ve never felt so aggrieved,” she said.

The businesswoman said in all the situation has cost her thousands – £22,000 to re-route an air conditioning system to stop noise escaping from a vent, £4,000 in hiring a sound system after hers was seized, plus more than £10,000 in legal fees.

She has now referred the case to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Suzan Hemingway, Bradford Council city solicitor, said the company accepted a formal caution in July, 2013, and so admitted four criminal offences of causing a statutory noise nuisance.

She said: “The company also agreed to pay a contribution to the Council’s costs and to surrender the offending sound system. Following a hearing in the magistrates’ court on February 4, 2014, the Council will be returning the sound system to the company.

“The court made no order for payment of legal costs and the formal caution remains in place.”

The spokesman did not comment on whether the £500 Miss Kent had paid so far would be returned.

Comments (7)

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7:06am Wed 12 Feb 14

Albion. says...

Looks like a bit of a publicity seek, she admitted her guilt by accepting a caution. How about compensation for the complainants?
Looks like a bit of a publicity seek, she admitted her guilt by accepting a caution. How about compensation for the complainants? Albion.

7:13am Wed 12 Feb 14

food_for_thought says...

"Saltaire gym owner..." Since when has Undercliffe Road, Eccleshill been anywhere near Saltaire?
"Saltaire gym owner..." Since when has Undercliffe Road, Eccleshill been anywhere near Saltaire? food_for_thought

1:52pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Gary little says...

My wife and I left this gym after repeated complaining about how loud the music was!
My wife and I left this gym after repeated complaining about how loud the music was! Gary little

2:38pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Idlelord says...

T&A on the money again re factual journalism. As a member for many years have to say the Council has once again shown how good it is at wasting public money.
T&A on the money again re factual journalism. As a member for many years have to say the Council has once again shown how good it is at wasting public money. Idlelord

3:04pm Wed 12 Feb 14

webshow says...

The Bradford Council investigation should have been dealt with out of court and heavy handed tactics. I've been to the gymn and it is not any more louder than other gymns such as Nuffield where I now go. Classes generally have loud music fore creating the vide.
The Bradford Council investigation should have been dealt with out of court and heavy handed tactics. I've been to the gymn and it is not any more louder than other gymns such as Nuffield where I now go. Classes generally have loud music fore creating the vide. webshow

5:21pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Albion. says...

webshow wrote:
The Bradford Council investigation should have been dealt with out of court and heavy handed tactics. I've been to the gymn and it is not any more louder than other gymns such as Nuffield where I now go. Classes generally have loud music fore creating the vide.
Interpreter?
[quote][p][bold]webshow[/bold] wrote: The Bradford Council investigation should have been dealt with out of court and heavy handed tactics. I've been to the gymn and it is not any more louder than other gymns such as Nuffield where I now go. Classes generally have loud music fore creating the vide.[/p][/quote]Interpreter? Albion.

2:59am Thu 13 Feb 14

Arhmen Noleg says...

She probably accepted a caution in the interest of saving costs.
Sounds about right for this council.
Drive anyone and everyone out and away.
This fitness and sport centre has been prominent for 20 odd years.
A success story in a failing city.
Took 3 months to bring to trial.
How many years did this council let illegal bazaars go with light touch enforcement before bending over backwards to help those operating illegally.
One bazaar proposed within 100 yards of Kents Fitness Centre.
Pack up and sell up Julie.
The council will not be happy until they have driven all away.
And good luck
What do your councillors think of the situation ?
Can they be bothered.
Elections are coming.
Stand and deliver
She probably accepted a caution in the interest of saving costs. Sounds about right for this council. Drive anyone and everyone out and away. This fitness and sport centre has been prominent for 20 odd years. A success story in a failing city. Took 3 months to bring to trial. How many years did this council let illegal bazaars go with light touch enforcement before bending over backwards to help those operating illegally. One bazaar proposed within 100 yards of Kents Fitness Centre. Pack up and sell up Julie. The council will not be happy until they have driven all away. And good luck What do your councillors think of the situation ? Can they be bothered. Elections are coming. Stand and deliver Arhmen Noleg

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