New High Court challenge to Alton Towers over noise

A local couple have re-launched a High Court bid to force Alton Towers to take action over noise levels emanating from the park.

Stephen and Suzanne Roper have lived in their Farley house, close to the park, since 1968 and have been fighting to reduce noise levels since 2002.

In January this year, a High Court judge threw out their claim for an injunction and compensation.

A senior judge has now adjourned their latest attempt so park operators Merlin Entertainments can prepare for the case, but he warned of the high stakes.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom said: “The costs of this claim are very considerable. By adjourning today’s appeal, those costs can only be increased. Richard Buxton, solicitor for the claimants, has indicated that if this appeal is unsuccessful there will be grave financial difficulties for the claimants.”

Buxton said: “The ultimate aim of this case is for Alton Towers to comply with their original planning permission, that noise was not to be heard outside the park, and to take care of their neighbours, which it presently is not.

“It has made life a misery both for my clients and also, to our knowledge, many others in Farley and Alton. We would like Alton Towers to be a good neighbour.”

A successful injunction could force Alton Towers to modify, relocate or even cease to operate some rides. The Ropers could also be eligible for compensation backdated to 1998.

It is understood that Oblivion is the oldest major ride with which there is a noise concern.

Speakers playing a dramatic “don’t look down” message were removed in 2004 as it was argued by the Ropers in court that they induced screaming – which could allegedly be clearly heard in Farley village.