The petition asks the Council to impose a condition on planning consents setting limits to the amount of noise and the hours of noisy work. Noise from construction sites, especially basements, has been a growing problem and is one of the main reasons that the Council developed its new planning policy to limit the scale of basement building and developed a new code of practice for construction sites. The new Basement Policy (CL7) seeks to “ensure that construction impacts such as noise, vibration and dust are kept to acceptable levels for the duration of the works”.

Construction noise can be dealt with in two ways – setting the limits beforehand by a planning condition or taking action after the event when problems arise through the environmental health officers.  The problem with the environment action – which is the present system – is that you will have been already suffering for some time and there is rarely immediate action.

What the petition seeks is the reassurance that the limits that would keep noise to acceptable levels are established at the outset rather than having to rely on after the event enforcement by environmental health officers.

The Council is also producing a Code of Practice – currently out to consultation – which proposes limits to both the hours of work when noisy work will be allowed – 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday only (i.e. not Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays) and the maximum levels of noise averaged over a day. This is a major change but as it is within the Code and not policy, it is only advisory. It should be in a planning condition.

We want planning consents to spell out the limits to the levels of noise that will be allowed. We consider that, both in terms of informing the applicant and telling the public, a condition that embodies the code of practice with regard to working hours and noise limits is essential. Other councils have such requirements – the petition is not asking for something which has not been done before.

It is not easy to find the petition.  The link below is to the main RBKC website.  Go from there then to “petition” on the left and then to the upper right hand corner for Construction Noise – a planning condition.

Please sign the petition, we want the Council to know that residents want planning consents to spell out the limits to the levels of noise that will be allowed.