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Property developer fined thousands after noise complaints

A property firm that defied repeated warnings to keep the noise down on its Commercial Street building site has been ordered to pay almost £3,000 after a successful prosecution by Tower Hamlets Council.

London Square Development Ltd is responsible for a 74 unit scheme on the Toynbee Hall estate. On 9 January, the company appeared at Thames Magistrates Court where a representative admitted breaching noise pollution laws in March and May last year.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “This fine is the result of some determined work by our environmental protection team. Residents should not have to suffer if developers are not playing by the rules when it comes to working within their construction hours.”

In early 2019, the council began to receive numerous complaints from people living near the construction site. An investigation found that loud and disruptive work was taking place in the early hours and late into the night.

David Edgar, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “Construction work undertaken within a built up area will inevitably have some impact on the surrounding residents. As a council we have ensured rules are put in place to reduce that impact and this case shows we will take action if developers and their contractors exceed these agreed limits.”

Council officers had warned the site manager verbally and in writing that a notice would be served if the site was operational outside of permitted hours.  A copy of the council’s Construction Code of Practice was also issued, but the noisy works continued.

A section 60 Control of Pollution Act 1974 Notice was served on 26 February 2019 warning developers that if a breach was witnessed, they could be prosecuted.

Despite that step, further complaints were received regarding noisy works outside permitted hours. An officer witnessed a breach of the notice on 8 March and 2 May and a case file was prepared for the legal team at the council.

The Construction Code of Practice sets out clear guidance that all responsible contractors should adhere to. If work needs to take place outside the approved hours, then prior permission is needed.