Kensington and Chelsea bans 'noisy' weekend construction work
The London borough of Kensington and Chelsea has banned noisy construction works on weekends as part of a new code of practice that aims to minimise the negative effects of construction noise, vibration and dust on residents and businesses.
Agreed by the council’s cabinet, the code of construction practice sets out what is expected from anyone having work done or undertaking construction work in the borough.
The key change is that “noisy” works will no longer be permitted at any time on a Saturday. Works were already banned on Sundays. The code also cuts weekday hours back from 6:30pm to 6:00pm.
Under the code all works audible at the site boundary must be carried out within the permitted hours of 8am to 6pm on Monday to Friday. Additionally all “high impact works”, which includes all demolition and concrete-breaking, must be carried out between 9am to noon and 2pm to 5:30pm on Monday to Friday.
"This new code of practice will help bring peace on the weekends and require developers to work far more closely with people who live close to their sites to mitigate, wherever possible, the problems associated with noise, dust and disturbance."
Kensington and Chelsea cabinet member for environmental health
According to the council the code will be phased in and enforced in the borough through the use of Control of Pollution Act 1974 powers. Although the code gives an outline of legal requirements, it is not an authoritative statement of the law. Where necessary the royal borough will enforce statutory powers on property owners as well as developers.
A council spokesperson told CM: "Now that the code has been approved all new building sites will be expected to comply with the Saturday restriction from April. The code will be phased in over six to 12 months. Existing sites with the old restrictions (i.e. permitting Saturday morning noisy work) in the borough will be contacted to inform them about the Saturday working restrictions will be formally put in place by the end of September 2016."
Developers and contractors are encouraged to speak to the council prior to works starting, to confirm how the code will apply to their development and to discuss applying for a prior consent under S61 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974.
The code has been introduced following residents complaining about noise from construction work, with a draft code produced and put out for a 16-week public consultation which ended on 21 October last year.
Kensington and Chelsea’s cabinet member for environmental health, said: “We completely recognise the importance of building and construction work in the borough. However, we must appreciate that for people who live close by it can have an enormous impact on their lives.
“This is why we have introduced this new code of practice. It will help bring peace on the weekends and require developers to work far more closely with people who live close to their sites to mitigate, wherever possible, the problems associated with noise, dust and disturbance.”
The full code is not yet available to the public, although the draft can be read here.