One of the biggest bugbears for residents of the Royal Borough is a thoughtlessly noisy neighbour or building works that disrupt what should be the peaceful enjoyment of their homes. We get lots of complaints about noise, which is not that surprising given just how densely populated Kensington and Chelsea is.
Now, I think it’s important to recognise that, in reality, you can’t live in the middle of a world city and expect the tranquillity of a Hebridean island. You also have to be realistic and accept that there will be building works and that neighbours, from time- to-time, may have a party.
Having said this I think you should expect the Council to be on your side when the noise is excessive, or is happening at an unreasonable time. When this happens I know that our Noise and Nuisance Team, based in the Environmental Health department, will take all complaints seriously and investigate. They are good at their job and, when necessary, will issue abatement notices and in persistent cases take noisy neighbours, builders and developers to court to make sure the laws that cover noise and nuisance are observed.
But, busy as they undoubtedly are they do more than just react to complaints. In the last couple of years they have spent time developing a local Code of Practice for Building Construction which, amongst other things, now means that noisy construction work will not take place as a matter of routine on the weekend. As a result of their efforts we are now the first borough in the country where the drills and hammers will normally stay silent on a Saturday morning.
I was delighted to learn that all their hard work had been recognised by the Noise Abatement Society when it awarded the team the John Connell Local Authority Award in November. Named after the founder of the society, the award is given to councils who make an outstanding effort to reduce the impact of noise pollution.
Several members of the team took time out to attend a ceremony at the Palace of Westminster to receive the award and I know they had a splendid evening. The recognition is well deserved and I am sure it will only act as an incentive for everyone connected with our Noise and Nuisance Team to work even harder to make sure that residents can enjoy as much peace and quiet as is possible living in the middle of London.
If you are plagued by a noisy neighbour or weekend building work our officers are there to investigate any complaint. Give them a call on 020 7361 3002.