Salford residents upset at noise from pupils want school next door to cut playtimes

Residents claim the street is not suitable for a school and are frustrated at noise on weekends.

Neighbours whose homes back onto a school in Salford claim the city council has abandoned their search for peace and quiet on weekends.

Kerem Shloime Primary School For Boys is open six days a week, only closing during the Sabbath, and has unlimited playtimes.

The school is also allowed to operate on bank holidays. The school’s playground, a former car park, borders the back gardens of neighbouring houses with a narrow street separating them.

Salford City Council says it is satisfied ‘there is no statutory nuisance from either noise or light pollution and therefore no legal action we can take.’

But Karen Corbett, one of the main spokespeople representing the residents of Broughton in this fight, claims the council has “washed their hands of them”.

Joanna Watson, Julie Pye, Karen Corbett and Jim Moore say they are unhappy with noise levels Credit: LDRS

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She says that all the residents want is for the school to cut the number of playtimes down to what a regular state school has and to be more considerate of their neighbours.

“It isn’t just noise we have an issue with, there has also been a huge increase in traffic and a serious problem with light pollution from the school,” she said. “Where we live is supposed to be a conservation area with minimal noise and traffic but the council seems to completely ignore this.

“The street is really not suitable for a school. 

“The sound of children in the playground can be heard across the street from morning until six o’clock. The noise is almost constant. 

“Many of the children are not local so we get lots of traffic when parents are coming to collect them which we did not used to have here. It feels like we have been stitched up by the council.

“We still have not had satisfactory answers to our questions to the school and council. The school does not want to know and the council has washed their hands of us.”

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Kerem Shloime School in Back Duncan Street, Broughton. Credit: Google Maps.

The residents feel like they have had no voice on the matter since the Orthodox Jewish boys’ school opened in 2018 – as planning permission was not required due to the former NHS site Gloucester House coming under the same planning category as a school.

The group has even considered legal action.

Kerem Shloime school has lawfully occupied Gloucester House in Broughton since August 2018, opening to pupils without requiring planning permission. In June 2021, the primary school was formally granted permission to use all of the Back Duncan Street building on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Video recordings were made last year by resident Jim Mooney, a film producer, in the gardens backing onto the playground. Between 9.30am and 3.30pm on Sunday (12 September, 2021), pupils could be heard in the playground for four and a half hours, according to Mr Mooney.

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What has Salford Council said?

The council has said they have worked to try and resolve the issue between the two parties and offered mediation.

Coun Mike McCusker, lead member for Planning and Sustainable Development said: “Salford City Council has fully investigated residents’ complaints using the powers given to us by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. To take legal action there must be a statutory nuisance. 

“We are satisfied that in this case there is no statutory nuisance from either noise or light pollution and therefore no legal action we can take. We have offered the services of an independent mediation company to all parties to try and help resolve this neighbourhood dispute. 

“Participation in this confidential process is entirely voluntary. We keep traffic issues across the city under constant review and will consider residents’ comments as part of that.”

Broughton has consistently come in the top five for noise complaints 2019, 2020 and 2021, according to a Freedom of Information request submitted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service. The number of complaints has increased each year, totalling 185 between 2019 and 2022 – all of which have been since the school was created – something the local residents do not believe is a coincidence.

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Kerem Shloime School has been contacted for comment by the Local Democracy reporter and has not responded.