Apology after speaker 'inadvertently' broadcast to Chelmsford estate

Hamptons Sports and Leisure centre
-Credit: (Image: Chris Cook)

A local Muslim society has apologised after a loudspeaker "inadvertently" broadcast their Eid Celebration event to local residents. Chelmsford Muslim Society purchased Hamptons Sport and Leisure Centre in Great Baddow in 2020.

Concerns were raised over the weekend when some people reported the venue's Eid Celebration event as being loudly broadcast to the local neighbourhood. Videos shared on social media appeared to show the loudspeaker's output being heard a few roads away from the centre.

Chelmsford Muslim Society has since apologised for the "deeply regrettable" incident. The local authority, meanwhile, has confirmed that the venue is being operated in a legal manner and the owners, Chelmsford Muslim Society, has the correct planning permission, following some queries locally.

READ MORE: Chelmsford Pride 'bigger and better than ever' as it returns for 20th anniversary

ALSO READ: Man 'baffled' after leaving car at Stansted Airport and getting parking ticket for Essex town 35 miles away

Hamptons Management said in a statement: "We are writing to sincerely apologise for any disturbance caused by an Eid Celebration event held at the centre on Sunday morning. It has come to our attention that a Tannoy speaker existed in the plant room and was inadvertently broadcasting to the outside neighbourhood.

"We deeply regret any inconvenience or disruption this may have caused. Please rest assured that the speaker has now been disconnected to prevent any future occurrences. We value our relationship with the community and are committed to ensuring a peaceful and harmonious environment for everyone. Thank you for your understanding and patience."

A council spokesperson said: "The use of The Hamptons has been thoroughly investigated by the council’s planning enforcement service since 2020 when complaints were first received about religious worship at the centre. Mixed community use' is permitted at The Hamptons, which includes a limited element of worship and religious teaching, alongside sports, fitness, recreation, classes, functions and meetings.

"As long as this element doesn't significantly alter the mixed character of the community facility, no material change of use would have occurred and planning permission would not be required. Although there may be increased activity during periods of celebration, such as Eid, a material change of use does not appear to have occurred in this case.

"In assessing this, consideration is also given to the wider pattern of activity relating to the use of the building. This means that the use of The Hamptons as a mixed community use building is currently complying with its planning permission."

Get more news from EssexLive straight to your inbox for FREE