Development noise - making a stand

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Monday 12 September 2005 8.10pm


I've only recently moved into Bermondsey street but have owned a flat here for 18 months. Over the past few weeks I've been woken up every saturday morning by the builders on two developments either side of my flat. They also make a lot of noise with generators on all day during the week as well.

Finally this saturday after being woken up at 7.15 to the sound of a drill and last week at 7.05 by a large diesel lorry reversing into our courtyard I had enough and contacted the southwalk noise team.

It turns out that any development work that takes place at weekends needs to have 'out of hours permission'. I thought I'd raise it on here in case any of your are also suffering from development noise at unreasonable times of the day/week.

If you are having problems and thought it was somethign you just had to accept then the contact details of the noise team are below.

Tel: 020 7525 5777 (24 hours)
Fax: 020 7525 3077
Address: Noise Team,
Environment & Leisure,
The Chaplin Centre,
Thurlow Street,
London SE17 2DG
Office hours: 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

I'd like to stress that I understand homes have to be built in London and that it won't last forever but I was driven to taking this further by the fact that neither of the site managers for either development were prepared to talk to me and that the developers are planning work next door to me for the next 12 months. I think that some peace at the weekends is not too much to ask and certainly when they start between 7a.m and 8a.m.
Monday 12 September 2005 8.33pm
We've had this trouble before too. The problem is that the builders are pretty cunning and know damn well that it takes the noise team about 45mins to get to them usually. Nothing against the noise team, they clearly can't be everywhere at once, and are fantastic as a rule!

But the builders know that they are meant to start at 9am, but if they kick off at 8, by the time the noise team get there, it will pretty much be starting time if they have permission, and there's little that can be done. We did have some success last summer, after repeated violations (concrete trucks at 6.30am). Good luck!
Tuesday 13 September 2005 12.13pm
I had great help from the noise team one Sunday morning at approx 8.30.
They got to my place about 10 mins after my call.
They spoke to the workmen using power tools in the street and the problem desisted.

If the noise team are unable to make it to the people causing noise in time, I suggest you log
the noise
the callout
the time the noise stops
the arrival of the noise team

After a couple of occurances, send it to company involved (and maybe copy the noise team).
Tuesday 13 September 2005 12.50pm

> But the builders know that they are meant to start
> at 9am

Living next to a building site, I wish it was a 9am limit, but it's not.

8am start is legitimate. The previous contractors (Mansells) on the site were very very sharp on this. Not a peep before 8am, but absolutely on the dot, all the power drills would kick in in tandem. It was like some kind of race.

The new contractors (Buxtons) are sloppy - some start a bit earlier, others a bit later, basically they just seem slap dash. Neither mindful of the regulations nor very efficient with their own time. I've email them when they've got a bit out of hand - no reply but the problem mostly went away.

Cut and paste from Southwark council...

What the law says

Under the Control of Pollution Act 1974, the Council can impose requirements as to times during which noisy work may be carried out and the methods of work used.
In Southwark these are generally:

Monday - Friday: 8am-6pm
Saturday: 8am-1pm
Monday 6 July 2009 1.51pm
noise is such a major issue and i really feel for you.
I am having real problems with the flat above. I own my own property and the people above are renting theres from the freeholder of the building (3 renovated flats).
The previos tenants we had issues with and it all boils down to wooden floors and inadequate sound proofing.
these new tennants work in a restaurant so don't get back to their flat till 2am. They then come in and make just their usual noise, sounds like elephants walking above.dragging furniture around, arguing, speaking etc
a few times they have had guests over in the middle of the week, from 2am to 5am. music, singing, even the washing machine on.
I have had to go up and complain and ask them to keep it down. they feel that they are being quiet but have no idea of the noise that they are making. I have tried to talk with them and have tried to get them to come down and listen but to no avail. I have complained to the landlord who is the free holder of the building and asked for carpet to be laid and i have even offered to pay half the costs. at present he is refusing and now is saying that i am harrassing his tennants!!! I have complained to the noise team and appparently they cannot do anything even with a washing machine in full spin cycle above my head at 3am in the morning.
I really dont know who i can turn to next as it seems that carpet will be such a simple solution to my peace and the tennants above peace.
any advice about how to solve this problem would be greatly appreciated.
I have recorded what time the noise has occurred and documented everything but there is no-one that can help.
Monday 6 July 2009 2.09pm
I have EXACTLY the same problem and it's very tricky. We have also suggested carpet be laid but the owner of the flat says the problem is ours and therefore we should consider new acoustic ceilings.
Monday 6 July 2009 3.13pm
I've looked into that, it is quite expensive. probably quadruple the cost of a new carpet and underlay.
After doing research on this i am astounded that there is regulations about sound proofing for new builds but no restrictions about rennovating/converting building into flats. Which I thought there should be.
Are you going to get the acoustic ceilings or try and negotiate further?
Monday 6 July 2009 6.12pm
After doing research on this i am astounded that there is regulations about sound proofing for new builds but no restrictions about rennovating/converting building into flats.[/quote wrote:

There most definitely is! Newly converted building have to meet building regs and Building regs are now very strict about sound proofing. They can enforce the developer to re do the work if they fail to meet current standard.
Monday 6 July 2009 7.52pm
1925kb/lagse1: worth you checking your leasehold contract because there may be a clause about not having wooden floors, or only having professionally installed/sound-proofed wooden floors, even though your building is a conversion. If there is, the leaseholders have obviously ignored it, but you'd have the law on your side in having remedial sound-proofing done at their expense.
Tuesday 7 July 2009 8.19am
Many thanks Jac/mcqueen. I had a look at my lease last night and it states that the flats should have adequate floor coverings and sound proofing so no noise is heard outside the dwelling. It also states about noise in unsocialable hours.
Do I write to my local councellor or do i have to take this case to a lawyer. I was going to write to the freeholder once again and state all these facts and mention that he is in breach of our contract. I also feel I should get a sound test to prove the inadequate sound proofing as he has stated that I have "over-sensitive" hearing.
How do I move this forward, with the council or with a solicitor?
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