Proposed Building Work for new Performing Arts Centre at CWLC
One Creative Environments Ltd. and Christopher Whitehead Language College (CWLC) have listened
carefully to all of the points raised regarding the proposed Performing Arts Facility and Bell Tower. We
would like to reassure local people that this proposed purpose built educational facility has been designed
with full consideration of the local area.
The independent noise assessment report has found both the Performing Arts facility and the Bell Tower
to be compliant within noise limits. We have, however, listened and made some further adjustments and
clarifications in response to specific concerns and further details are provided here to explain the steps
being taken to minimise any local impact.
Why a bell tower? The driver for the bell tower is the educational benefits that bell-ringing will bring to the
school curriculum in the teaching of art, science and mathematics. Bell-ringing sheet music is based on
mathematical formulas and requires mental agility for synchronisation and the combination of the bells. It
will also help improve children’s physical agility, co-ordination, reaction time and balance, plus improve
muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Finally, bell-ringing is a 500-year-old art form that is in
desperate need of attracting younger participation to keep it alive. CWLC would be the first state school to
have a bell tower and the convenience of its location on site will ensure bell-ringing can be taught as part
of the curriculum. The bell tower will be privately funded and has already attracted private investment
What is the daily impact of the bells likely to be? How do they work, how is any noise controlled
and who will they be used by? Whilst the bells could be used daily by students and teachers, as it is
anticipated that bell-ringing will become part of the curriculum, we do not expect any daily impact for local
people. The sound from the bells during teaching will be controlled by:
• Technology: a computer will sense the rope being pulled and record the virtual sound of the bell
being rung. Bell-ringing students will be able to hear the virtual sound of the rung bell through
• Physical Mufflers on the bells: will prevent significant sound from the bells themselves
• Intelligent design of the building: the purpose-built facility has been fully designed to minimise
any noise, for example, the louvres to the building will remain closed during bell-ringing teaching
• Restricted times: teaching will take place no earlier than 10am and no later than 6pm.
When the bells ring audibly, who will they be used by? What will be the frequency and duration?
The sound of the bells will be audible and not muffled to allow the bells to be heard only for special local
and National events. These will not exceed 12 days in a calendar year and on each of these 12 days, will
not exceed an hour in total duration of bell-ringing between the hours of 10am and 6pm. This is a
reduction to that outlined in the Planning Noise Assessment Report which suggested a total of up to four
hours on each of these occasions. The bells will be rung by children under the supervision of experienced
What measures are being taken to address concerns raised on privacy and overlooking? Views of
the Cathedral are intended from the viewing platform which will be used only during the daytime. Any
potential overlooking will be restricted by opaque balcony glass once the tower is complete. An arranged
meeting will be offered to any concerned neighbours so that they can meet the building designer, view
themselves from the platform and assist in the suggested positioning for the opaque glass screen.
What is the impact of any amplified music in theatrical productions? The building is sound proofed to
building regulations. Theatrical productions will be limited so that they conclude by 10:30pm. Every
reasonable effort will then be made for cars to have vacated the premises by 11pm.
Considerations for construction: Part of the appointment process for a contractor will require an
appropriate communications plan to keep local people informed of timings for major elements of
construction. Every reasonable effort will be taken to minimise any disruption wherever possible.