THE director of a respite centre for young adults with disabilities has defended the facility after neighbours complained its students are too noisy.

Jim Milligan has run the Marigold Centre, in Avenue Road, Westcliff, where young people can take part in activities while learning life skills, since 2017.

But neighbours have slammed the facility, claiming the students make too much noise to the point where it is impacting upon their lives.

One man, who has asked not to be named, said: “Since it opened, the lives of neighbours have certainly not thrived due to the incredible noise - an impact which was not explained before it opened.

“We have not been able to soak up the sun in our gardens due to the constant screaming and shouting the centre produces.

“The surrounding community is very residential with lots of retirees and was once a very quiet area.

“We thought it would be great for the community but it has had a negative effect and is causing a lifestyle we can no longer live with.”

Mr Milligan said the centre is working within its lease agreement and that he is liaising with Southend Council.

He said: “We provide respite for young people with disabilities - a lot of the students can’t communicate verbally so do it in whatever way they can.

“We’ve got a garden and it’s summer so the students are out there and may make noise during the day but it’s only open until 3pm.

“After that, we have respite for four students who stay overnight but there are no discos or loud music. They are usually in bed by 9pm.

“The mediation can’t really go anywhere because there’s not much we can do.

“We can’t tell them to be quiet because they don’t understand.

“We can’t keep them inside because that’s a deprivation of their liberty and against the Equality and Diversity


He added: “One of my ambitions was to make sure that we push forward with equality and inclusivity and that’s making sure they are part of the community which is why this location was chosen.”