NEIGHBOURS of a new musical theatre academy have voiced concerns about the potential for noise and traffic problems.
Wildcats Theatre School has moved into the first floor of Castle House in St Peter’s Street, Stamford.
The new academy will host musical theatre classes for youngsters aged four to 16 on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings and a post-16 course during the day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The theatre school says there will be no problems with noise and is looking to reassure residents.
The building was previously home to the Castle Hill International Language Centre, but building owner Andy Cordial was granted planning permission by South Kesteven District Council to convert it to offices in June last year.
The second floor of the building is now occupied by offices, but in July this year Mr Cordial applied to change the use of the ground floor to an exercise room to accommodate Stamford Personal Fitness, and part of the first floor to a theatre school for the new Wildcats academy.
The fitness firm moved into the building in April, with Wildcats starting classes this month.
Some Castle House neighbours say they had problems with noise from the language school, and are concerned the new academy may cause similar issues.
Jeremy Cooper, 58, lives next door to Castle House.is concerned about =both noise and traffic.
He said: “There will also be a constant turnover of people coming and going. This is a dangerous junction and I have a fear that there will be an accident.
“Clearly a building like this is a landmark and needs to be used.
“But I think offices would be more suitable.”
Neighbours also expressed concern that an application to change the use of the building was only submitted after Stamford Personal Fitness had been using the building for three months.
The change of use application has not yet been approved.
But planning agent Ross Thain, acting on behalf of Mr Cordial, said the new use would not cause any problems as the building had previously been used for educational purposes.
He added that there would be no increase in traffic compared to when the building was occupied by the language school.
Wildcats owner and creative director at the new academy, Caz Dolby, sought to reassure neighbours that there would be no problems with noise.
She said: “The building has recently held planning permission for educational use, and the present planning application is to re-instate this permission.
“Wildcats have a premises noise management plan in place.
“This plan shows that Wildcats take all concerns from local residents regarding noise issues seriously and will always work together with both the local residents and the regulatory authorities to ensure that measures are put in place to abate any noise issues.
“As a family-run and family orientated business we do understand the needs of local residents and will at all times ensure that the residents are not disturbed from any activities taking place at our classes.”