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factory noise in a residential area

(10 Posts)
vitalia Wed 12-Mar-14 15:11:49

Last year we bought our perfect family home, great area, great schools etc etc.
The only negative was that the back garden backs onto a factory (which is in the ironworks business)
Just background information- literally at the back of our fence their boundary line starts. We have right of way through our back gate into their car park and have access 24hrs.
Obviously when we viewed the house the factory was a big issue, we must have viewed it at least eight times at different times of day/evening to assess the factory noise. It was always OK, and very liveable. The factory opened 7am and closed at 6pm.

Cue to moving in, a week later they put a big shipping container right behind our fence which they now use for storage. Several times a day they load heavy iron works into the container which makes a loud clanking noise.
Last summer was horrendous, they left their factory doors (which go the length of the building) open from 7am-6pm so we could hear the loud screeching work inside the house with all the doors and windows closed, and being in the garden was unbearable.
The factory workers have also taken to bringing chairs outside and eating their lunch right next to my garden gate. They have a huge outdoor area so I have no idea why they are doing this. We then have to listen to the banter of around 15 men for an hour which can be very unsuitable for the children.

They have also started opening earlier and closing later presumably when they have busy periods. But hearing the screeching pulsating machinery grind against the iron is really getting me down.
First hint of nice weather and their factory doors are wide open again today.
Am I being unreasonable as we knew the factory was there when we bought the house or does this seem to be taking the piss?

I'm reluctant to say anything yet, as we live in a very small village and I don't want bad relations with them.

tigermoll Wed 12-Mar-14 15:21:04

I feel your pain but I'm not sure what you can do. Its not like they're going to cut down the hours the factory operates just for you, or keep the doors shut if its boiling hot inside. What do you think it would be reasonable to ask them to change?

janey68 Wed 12-Mar-14 15:27:21

There will be clear regulations about what times they can be operational, so if you mean they're actually extending their hours in breach of these then contact the local council.

Not sure there is much you can do about them working with doors and windows open though.

Re: the lunch hour issue... Is there something about the spot by your gate which makes it attractive... Sun trap? Or a shady tree? I would do anything within your power to make it less attractive, as if they have a big open space they will probably then move off (... Small children talking incessantly at them could be a good deterrent?!)

On the plus side, presumably you got the house for a favourable price precisely because of the factory. So maybe you wouldn't have afforded such a perfect family house if it hasn't been there... Maybe focusing on that will help you balance out the pros and cons in your mind

AgaPanthers Wed 12-Mar-14 15:28:46

Can you really not see any reason why they would want to sit next to your gate? Is it not in fact the nicest place to sit? If it isn't, you could always suggest a different location?

Viviennemary Wed 12-Mar-14 15:31:30

It's very difficult and I sympathise. You could get in touch with the local council and complain or your MP. I knew somebody years ago who got triple glazing paid for because of noise from aircraft. She said it made a massive difference. Don't know if that's worth pursuing.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Wed 12-Mar-14 15:38:48

I don't think there's much you can do about the noise of machinery. But you could check to see whether there are any provisions associated with their license. Maybe have a quiet word with the council environmental health to see where you stand.

On them having lunch next to your gate, why not have a quiet word with the MD and see whether there is a particular reason. There's nothing to stop them, but people in general do want to get along with their neighbours.

On the plus side, presumably you got the house for a favourable price precisely because of the factory. So maybe you wouldn't have afforded such a perfect family house if it hasn't been there... Maybe focusing on that will help you balance out the pros and cons in your mind

Exactly that! Annoying as it is, you did know there was a factory there when you bought the house and presumably it had a massive impact on the price. I cannot imagine there is anything you can do about it. Maybe ask that they sit somewhere else for their lunch hour if you dare but maybe that is the nicest place for them to be.

Of course the doors are open, they are probably roasting in there.

I do sympathise but yeah, you knew the factory was there when you bought the place.

WooWooOwl Wed 12-Mar-14 15:45:43

YABU, although I can see why it would be annoying.

It sounds like you convinced yourself that the disturbance caused by a factory being so close would be fine when you viewed the property, but now that you are having to live with it you have realised that the reality is not very nice.

But buying this house was a decision you made knowing that the factory was there, and now you have to deal with it.

I can't see what 'having a word' would achieve. The workers have to eat somewhere and the factory has to do its job. That doesn't change just because you don't like it.

Braganza Wed 12-Mar-14 16:17:12

Have you spoken to environmental health at the council? They will be able to advise on whether the noise can constitute a nuisance, or is just something you have to live with. Whether it is a nuisance will depend on the setting, the type of noise, the times of day etc. Just because it's warm does not mean, for example, that it is reasonable to have the doors and windows open in a residential area; pubs playing loud music often have to have serious air conditioning and keep the windows shut. Certainly I wouldn't have thought industrial noise at 7am would be reasonable.

You won't be able to do much about people eating lunch though. You could speak to them, or put a note on the gate requesting they remember there are small children the other side of the gate, but they may not take any notice. If they don't, as you have right of way, you may find you need to make multiple trips through the gate at lunch time, preferably dragging a full nappy bin, or rotting rubbish.

mummymeister Wed 12-Mar-14 17:25:41

Their planning permission will have hours of operation on it. you can go to your planning department and ask to see this information/their file. you can also ask Env Health if it has dealt with other complaints in relation to this site. Just because they have established use does not give them the right to cause a statutory noise nuisance. The position of the container for example, could it be put somewhere else and would that be less disturbing. if they have doors and windows open in the summer then their ventilation clearly isn't up to scratch. I would start looking into it now. first with planning then have a word with Env. Health. if they have a complaint they will not divulge who it is to the factory owner (but they often guess) Having a word will have absolutely no effect in my experience. you either have to suck it up or take formal action through the EHO. but be aware that doing this can be very stressful and heighten your sensitivity to the noise especially if you have to keep a noise diary.

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