Prosecution – Statutory nuisance, Noise

On 7th November 2014 at Eastbourne Magistrates Court, the contractor working on the conversion of the old Co-op building on London Road in Brighton into student accomodation was found guilty of four charges of breaching Section 61 of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and fined a total of £6000 with court costs of £3511.48 and victim surcharge of £120.00, a total of £9631.48.

Following earlier compliants, the council had limited working hours to 8.00am – 6.00pm Monday to Friday and 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays. Despite this, residents complained of noise throughout the weekends, early mornings and late into the night, citing removal of skips at 6.30am, use of nail guns and saws running throughout Saturdays, and generators left on until 10pm at night. The chair of council’s environmental committee was quoted as saying “This company has given residents no respite, with noise from the site seven days a week causing considerable stress and disturbance. We had no hesitation in taking legal action to protect residents.” The company pleaded guilty to the offence but did not attend court.

The company was also convicted of two similar charges on the same site last year, with fines totalling £2900.

(This Case Study was abstracted from a Construction Index article published on 10 November 2014)