There's always been a lot of confusion as to the location of the Ropers house. Previous reports from some years ago suggested their house was between the main gates and the Chained Oak Guest House. If this was the case, then they would not be far from X Sector. Oblivions brake run is opposite the entrance to the Chained Oak. Often hidden behind the high trees, from the road passing by, if you look carefully to your right when passing the Chained Oak you should be able to see it. Much easier to spot in winter when there is little foliage in the way. This goes to show how close the park, and indeed some of its attractions come to some of the residences in the area.
A lot of assumptions are being made in relation to the whole case, which has been dragging on in public at least for 6 or 7 years now, based on the latest article in The Sentinel. A paper which loves a good Alton Towers bashing story. :). The Ropers don't want the park to close down and rides relocated, they want some compensation for the years of noise issues that they claimed to of been plagued with. Seemingly concerning the 90's and early 2000's. Their current situation in terms of where they reside now, or indeed what there property in Farley may or may not be used for would probably not be of relevance in this latest saga. It would seem that the article is simply implying, in usual sensationalist what the worst case scenario would be should the Ropers win their claim.
Go back in time a bit to when the story surrounding the Ropers first broke. Quite a few people here had some sympathy for them at first, because when you read in to it, you realised they had been complaining, and they were not the only ones, about the noise levels coming from within the park. After all, they had been resident there for many years, no one could of expected the place to become a massive Theme Park attracting 2 million plus people a year, and all their complaints over the years had fell on deaf ears pretty much. There was a general understanding, that whilst their court action may seem massively over the top and massively over exagerated, that Alton Towers needed to be brought to book for years of dodging the issue.
Court action like this is long winded and very very expensive. The only winners really are the lawyers who pocket quite a bit of dosh in fees. Thus, it would be fair to assume that taking this route is probably the last resort.
I think though that many thought it would be thrown out, but alas, it wasn't. The Ropers won, and a noise abatement order was placed on the park limiting the noise that reaches the Ropers property to a maximum of 33dB, as well as limit of one fireworks night per year. A subsequent appeal was lodged by the then owners, Tussauds, which argued that limit was simply not possible nor was the restriction of one fireworks night per year. Appeal successful, the limit was raised to 40dB, and 3 Fireworks nights were permitted.
It was after this the Ropers then lost all credibility. After Tussauds were successful in getting the noise limit raised, the Ropers lodged a high court injunction to get that weekends Fireworks event stopped. The ramifications should such an injunction be successful were to awful to even comprehend. Almost 100,000 visitors over the weekend would of been left short changed, Guest Houses, who are booked up for the Fireworks events months in advance would be faced with massive losses as people cancelled, not to mention the cost to Alton Towers and the rest of the local economy. Thankfully this was thrown out and that weekends event past off, um, 'peacefully'.
It seems though every time we think everything has settled down, the whole thing rears its ugly head again. Every other year the story pops up and there's more court action threatened. It is my understanding the the Ropers are effectively a mouth piece for the very small minority, (most of whom moved in after the Theme Park became established) who wish for an idyllic life a peace and quite in the countryside. The vast majority of residents support the park. A few may have minor niggles, mainly concerning the volumes of traffic, and the types of vehicles that use the local road system, but are still supportive of the park due to the benefits it brings them. I wonder how many other villages still boast more than one pub, and the local high street shops, as well as a multitude of Guest Houses. If Alton Towers went, you can bet in a couple of years time, despite the areas popularity with walkers etc, all of these would be gone too, as would the bus service.
One thing that struck me in the latest article was the suggestion by the lawyers acting for the Ropers this time that should they lose this case they will be in financial difficulty. That begs the question: Did their lawyers advice not to go through with it?, or were they simply happy to pocket their money anyway? Being up against the might of a huge corporation, whilst not impossible to overcome, is quite a formidable opponent to be up against in court. They will have the best that money can buy to save their bacon. Regardless of the outcome, again, there will only be one winner in this scenario, and that is the lawyers on both sides.
I hope this is the end of the matter regardless of the outcome. The public battle has been raging since 2004. Time for the Ropers to hang up the hat and at least try to enjoy their lives if they can.
Sent from my ZX81 via Time Travel