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Teacher wins legal battle to keep running DC Swim School in Longfield

A swimming teacher has described a "nightmare" 18 months battling to protect her business after the council claimed it was having a negative impact on the neighbourhood.

Denise Calver, of New Barn Road in Longfield, has been running swimming classes for children, many of whom have disabilities, at her home for more than a decade.

Denise Calver teaches George, eight, at DC Swim School in her home
Denise Calver teaches George, eight, at DC Swim School in her home

The 52-year-old, who has been teaching children to swim for 24 years, moved DC Swim School into a covered pool in her back garden after the pool at St John's School where she used to work shut down.

Last year, Dartford council told her she needed to gain planning permission after a complaint about noise and parking.

A small number of residents objected to Mrs Calver's change of use application, while more than 50 wrote letters of support.

Mrs Calver had to pursue legal action when the council rejected her application.

It has cost her more than £7,500 in legal fees.

“I wasn’t going to risk losing it. If I lost it then I’d essentially have no job and no money. I’d have to sell my house,” she said.

“The whole ordeal has been horrific - an absolute nightmare.

"It’s caused me so much stress and has affected my life a lot the last 18 months.”

She added: “I felt like I was being watched 24/7 by residents who complained. It’s like I was being spied on.

“I’ve lived on egg shells for nearly two years. I’ve been a nervous wreck the whole time.

"I’m so relieved it’s all finally over and I can get on with my lessons.

“I found out Saturday and spent the whole day crying.”
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