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APC Couriers - Noise Pollution

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Friday 13 September 2013 11.01am
Has anyone else noticed an increase in the noise pollution coming from APC couriers based on the Admiral Hyson Industrial Estate?

They seem to start operations around 4a.m. with unloading of HGVs and incredibly loud reversing alarms of their forklift fleet, followed by the bashing and crashing of metal crates of goods being moved around, culminating with the loading of white vans at around 8a.m.

Then they repeat the operation late in the evening often finishing around 9.30pm.

The estate is surrounded on 3 sides by residential areas so is disturbing a whole range of residents. A one-off would be fine, but this is literally every day and becoming a bit of a nightmare.

Any tips for mitigating and who to deal with at the Southwark council? Would there be anything in the planning permission granted to the estate that defines reasonable working hours for noisy work like this?
Friday 13 September 2013 12.00pm
Yorkie, I used to work for APC Transexpress on Admiral Hyson Industrial Estate many moons ago. They are a very respectable, long-established and community-orientated company, operating the local APC operation long before the homes where you live on Lynton Road were built in 2008/2009 (I assume you live there). The MD would be horrified to hear you are upset, but...

Each APC depot is individually owned and operated and this particular depot employs many local people. It is not some international company, but instead one that has been based locally - and on the Admiral Hyson estate - for many years now. Given that it is an industrial estate, I think it's reasonable for some noise to emanate therefrom. You were aware of the fact you were behind (though some distance, IMHO) an industrial estate.

I also think it's a tad disingenuous to suggest that it is surrounded on three sides by residential areas; though that might strictly be true, there is some physical distance between the industrial estate and its residential neighbours. In additional two of those 'sides' were constructed after the industrial estate!

Though I used to work there, that has not coloured my view. The fact is if you choose to live next to a hospital, for example, you can expect to hear sirens. The same analogy applies here. Do you expect this local business, employing local people, to have its long-established activities curtailed because you have now moved in?

As stated above, the views above are my own.
Friday 13 September 2013 4.35pm
Gavin - thanks for your reply.

Yes, you're correct to say that living in proximity to a light industrial estate, you would expect some noise during the day. However in the same regard, you would not expect for the noise to escalate over time, or in particular be produced outside of normal working hours (as defined by Southwark council).

Fortunately I am not a 'new' resident, having lived here for the last 5 years. The noise is such that even though there is some proximity between the APC depot and any residential building (those on Rosetti Road directly overlooking the site, those on Sheppard Drive directly overlooking the site, and those on Lynton Road directly overlooking the site - see, it is clearly audible through all hours of the day, disturbing what is otherwise a relatively peaceful residential area. The distance (be it 100ft or 500ft) is largely irrelevant when that area is an open space where sound travels

What has happened recently is that the noise has increased and spread over a much larger portion of the day through what seems to be a combination of louder operating kit and new working practices that extend the working day.

The jingoism of 'local people, local jobs' doesn't mean much I'm afraid - the same argument could be used to support the plethora of bookmakers and pawnbrokers which now plague high streets in London. This issue is about the working practises, and the willingness of an established company to take measures to ensure that it is not profiting at the expense of the area it operates in.

Working in the construction industry myself, I am fully aware of the impact that a business has both positively in terms of transforming an area, but also the effect of negative externalities on the environment in which it operates. Regulation exists to Balance these factors: controlling working hours, noise emissions etc, but is only ever going to work as a series of checks and balances between residents, the council and business.
Saturday 14 September 2013 2.50pm
Yorkie, with respect, it stinks of NIMBYISM. APC has operated on that site since 2002/2003. Having sent parcels from there myself in recent times, there is no change in operation; it is as it always was. What evidence of 'escalation' do you have?

The roads to which you make reference ARE some physical distance away.

It's unnecessary for me to answer each and every other point in your post, suffice it to say that you wouild have been well aware when you moved there of the presence of an industrial estate, its use has not changed fundamentally or at all since that time and therefore there's not much you can do.In fact, I would've thought noise had decreased as there in fact only a couple of businesses left on the trading estate.

Personally, I find the noise of buses outside my house at 4am intrusive and disturbing, but we were aware of that when we chose to move in and hence there's nothing we can do about it. It's called living in London, I'm afraid.
Saturday 14 September 2013 4.15pm
Yorkie, have you tried talking to the depot manager and letting him know you think there has been a change in their noise levels. If that is the case they may well be able to do something far quicker than reporting elsewhere............just a thought.
Saturday 14 September 2013 9.31pm
If you don't get any satisfaction, please email me []
or phone me 079464 38 380 and I will ask.
Cllr Graham Neale
Monday 16 September 2013 7.16am
Gavin Smith wrote:
it stinks of NIMBYISM.

Close, but you're missing the point - NIMBYISMAFITMISM (Not In My Backyard At Four In The Morning). Doesn't sound like we're going to see eye-to-eye on this one. But then as an (ex) employee, I'd suggest your position is compromised. Hopefully you can see the difference between a private enterprise and a public service, though.

nigelse1 wrote:
have you tried talking to the depot manager and letting him know

Yes, thanks. There is no direct way to get in contact through their website, but I have been in touch with the head office and I am waiting for a reply.

The point of posting this on the forum wasn't to engage with APC - I have done that separately on my own accord. More to understand if other residents have had similar issues, or if anyone else in the immediate area is a poster on the forum. Similar to threads like this:

graham wrote:
If you don't get any satisfaction, please email me

Thanks, Graham, I may be in touch
Monday 16 September 2013 1.13pm
I'm not really sure how my position is compromised, Yorkie, by virtue of the fact I worked there 10 years ago. I have no affiliation with the business other than the fact I worked there once upon a time and that I occasionally send parcels from there.

If you were complaining of noise emanating from DHL, further down on Galleywall Road - which is in closer proximity to residential dwellings - I would have given the same response.

You've said you've contacted 'head office'. As I've explained to you, each depot is individually owned and operated and so you need to contact the depot manager/managing director of APC Transexpress, whose details are very easily accessible and are no secret. Typing your postcode into the APC website will bring up the depot telephone number.

I'll not respond any further on the subject because it isn't my place to defend the business, but I'll reiterate the point that the noise has been ongoing for over ten years and the site's industrial usage would have been revealed before you exchanged contracts on your purchase in your environmental search. You therefore made an informed decision to purchase a home next to a long established industrial estate - one that existed before your home was built.Hopefully you can see the point I'm making.
Monday 16 September 2013 3.04pm
gavin smith wrote:
I'm not really sure how my position is compromised, Yorkie, by virtue of the fact I worked there 10 years ago

Not sure what else I can say!

Gavin Smith wrote:
You've said you've contacted 'head office'. As I've explained to you, each depot is individually owned and operated and so you need to contact the depot manager/managing director of APC Transexpress

Noted. I sent the head office an email before you posted, based on the assumption that operations would be centrally controlled and any operating entities would ultimately need to report there anyway. I understand the issue has been raised with the depot.

Gavin Smith wrote:
I'll reiterate the point that the noise has been ongoing for over ten years and the site's industrial usage would have been revealed before you exchanged contracts on your purchase

As per my OP, the noise has escalated of late. It wasn't an issue before, at the date of purchase. I'm assuming your 'ex' status doesn't allow you foresight as to why.

Fortunately I believe it is fairly easy to remedy, using simple noise reduction techniques that are common practise through the construction industry, but the first step is to engage in dialogue. Establishing the scale of the issue is a way to contextualise this - hence the post here!
Monday 16 September 2013 9.08pm
Yorkie, you make a lot of assumptions and make lots of spurious allegations and exaggerations:

Yorkie wrote:
unloading of HGVs

There is one HGV and it comes twice daily and has done for years). Same lorry, same time, same driver, same forklift.

Yorkie wrote:
Incredibly loud reversing forklift fleet

There is one forklift truck which has no reversing bleeper).

Yorkie wrote:
Disturbing a whole range of residents

No one else has been bothered by it to the extent they have resorted to a public forum to air their dissatisfaction.

On perhaps the erroneous assumption that you do have a legitimate complaint (my assumption), instead of posting potentially untrue comments about a local business anonymously on a public site, you should either raise the matter directly with the business concerned or perhaps call the Southwark noise team and see whether they concur with your "observations". I doubt they will.

Over and out.
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