Silence 'noisy' Leeds community centre plea

People living near a Leeds community centre are renewing calls for the council to take action after claiming it is continuing to flout licensing laws.

The Baab-Ul-Ilm (Gateway to Knowledge) Centre in Shadwell Lane, Shadwell was issued with a breach of condition notice by Leeds Council in December 2008 after it was found to be opening outside of agreed hours.

Neighbour Iain Farquharson says that the centre, which opened in 2004, is continuing to operate beyond its 10pm weekday and 8pm weekend hours.

And he says that he and his elderly parents are being plagued by noise from the centre.

Mr Farquharson, 49, a self-employed gardener, says that sometimes noise from functions continues until three in the morning.

He said: "We have children running up and down, the noise of departures and bins being emptied. We have lost hundreds, if not thousands of hours sleep. It's very damaging."

Mr Farquharson, whose house is just 12 feet from the centre, has been keeping a log of incidents.

He added: "The other weekend I happened to be watching The X Factor on television, and it's not a quiet programme, but they were at it until 10pm with constant door slamming and people running back and forward."

Another resident, Chris Morley, said that the centre allowed youngsters to play on the car park even though this was not allowed.

Coun Ronnie Feldman (Con, Alwoodley) said : "We have been trying to get action from the community centre for four to five years. They make promises but do not keep them.

"The planning department needs to be much firmer with them."

Centre president Rasool Bhamani said neighbours may be mistaking private visits to the caretaker, who lives over the site, for it operating after hours.

He said: "We have operated within the guidelines of the planning permission.

"We have spoken to the caretaker and have asked him to be as quiet as possible. We do not want to cause any disturbance to anyone."

He added that he would be happy to talk neighbours about any problems.

A council spokeswoman said: "We have received a recent complaint from a local resident that the Baab-ul-Ilm Jamaat Community Centre on Shadwell Lane is operating outside the hours permitted by its planning permission.

"If we find that there have been significant breaches of the conditions we will liaise with our legal team to consider what further action needs to be taken."

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