Youngsters distraught after dance school is told to close its doors

The yacht being towed to Gosport. Credit: GAFIRS

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A popular dance school has been forced to leave its studio after complaints over noise.

The not-for-profit group, DL Rapture, was set up by Dave Terrill and his partner Leanne Evans in North End's London Road Mall.

The studio ran classes for around 100 youngsters throughout the week.

When neighbours made complaints about noise levels, Portsmouth City Council refused the retrospective planning permission needed for the dance school to operate.

The group's appeal to the Planning Inspectorate has now been rejected.

'We received the news just before Christmas,' said Mr Terrill, 34.

'We agreed we wouldn't inform the children until the new year.

'It has been a tragic situation. Some of the kids were distraught.'

Mr Terrill is now renting space at Charles Dickens School, in Landport, but has had to cut the number of classes by almost half.

He says he spent thousands of pounds on measures to combat the noise. This included buying less powerful sound systems and loft insulation.

But inspectors said the noise was causing 'serious harm' to the living conditions of those nearby.

Mr Terrill now plans to make further improvements and reapply for planning permission.

'Unless we can get back into the old studio, then I will have to sell my house,' he said.

'I put my own free time and money into the studio, and I have to pay it back.'

Emma Garland, 28, lives directly above the studio, in London Road.

She said: 'There's only so much you can take, it was just too much.

'We have struggled really badly with the noise levels to the point I didn't want to go home.

'You want to come home and have a relaxing bath or watch TV but the noise was unbearable. I'm pleased it's over.'

Parents and local shop owners gathered 450 signatures appealing for inspectors to keep the group running.

'It's horrendous,' said 38-year-old Denise Price, whose two children attended classes at the dance studio.

'My son is autistic and he loved the atmosphere there.

'He felt involved and it made everyone feel like a family. Attending classes in a different venue isn't the same; the family feel has gone.'