Nottingham Forest players told to use headphones in training ground row over noise

Nottingham Forest players have been told to use headphones instead of playing amplified music following complaints from neighbours over noise emanating from the gym at the club's Nigel Doughty Academy. A senior councillor said local residents were particularly unhappy about the hours in which the gym was being used and that their complaints had fallen on 'deaf ears'.

And Councillor Alan Phillips, who represents Compton Acres for the Conservatives on Rushcliffe Borough Council, is leading the calls for more to be done to reduce noise coming from the site in Wilford Lane. He said the gym, housed in a corrugated metal structure next to the First Team Building, had been a 'bone of contention' since it became operational several years ago.

The Reds have recently drawn up plans for acoustic fencing to be put up between the site boundary to the houses located on Gresham Close in West Bridgford and newly-configured First Team training pitch. The club say they have also told players and staff to respect the amenities of the immediate neighbours.

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"All staff and players have been reminded to respect the amenities of the Club’s immediate neighbours, with notices being placed inside the gym to that effect – and for staff to use their own personal headphones rather than an amplified sound system," reads a report compiled by Edwinstowe-based planning consultants, IBA Planning, on the club's behalf.

The report adds staff had been opening a large back door which was leading to noise "escaping to the detriment of the amenities of nearby residents" with Cllr Phillips having met club officials to discuss the issues.

"It is understood that the football club undertook with Councillor Phillips to ensure that all staff and players were made aware of these issues – and that the door was to remain closed at all times," the statement in the report adds.

The details about the fencing came to light in a planning application seeking an extension on the planning permission for the Reds to continue to use the gym for another five years.

Forest also discussed the possibility of planting some additional trees between the gym and boundary of the site as part of the noise abatement strategy. But new fencing was instead viewed as a more effective and immediate way to tackle the issue, owing to the limited space between the site boundary and First Team training pitch.

In his consultee response to the plans, submitted to the Rushcliffe Borough Council planning department, Cllr Phillips said the times when the gym had been used out of operating hours had taken place when the council offices had been closed, when environment health teams could not be easily contacted.

He also called for measures to be installed inside the gym, saying separate noise issues had been linked to a water silo which he told the club the acoustic fencing should primarily be for.

"The large water silo is used for irrigating the grass training pitches. It uses pumps and emits noise in the process that residents on Gresham Close nearest to it complain about. This structure so far has not had a planning application submitted for it which would now have to be a retrospective one considering it has already been built and operational for some time.

"I am more than happy to work with the applicant, residents and planning officers to help find a way forward with the gym application and for an application for the water silo but as the application stands currently I have to object to it on the grounds of noise alone.

"If the gym was clad inside with noise dampening materials and a ban on music then this could work. I'm sure users of the gym would prefer to wear ear phones and listen to their own music.

"On the multigym weights some sort of strip between each weight could help stop the clanging of weights when in use. This may not be necessary if good sound proofing within the gym structure can be achieved but as it stands the last five years have proved the current format is not acceptable."

The latest plans submitted by the club seek to extend the temporary planning permission for the existing gym for another five years. "The Football Club are in the process of considering longer term solutions for this building and other wider facilities as part of the Owner’s ongoing commitment to invest in all aspects of the Club from the ground up.

"But in the meantime wish to secure a further and hopefully final temporary consent for the gym building," a statement in the planning documents add.

Nottingham Forest declined to comment when approached by Nottinghamshire Live.