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what would you do?

(40 Posts)
babyonboard Tue 16-Aug-05 11:52:01

hi..just looking for a little advice
we have a fireplace shop below our flat, which was there when we bought it and they have a workshop in the back yard.
they used to only do work on a thursday and friday..which was annoying but fair enough but now it is every single day
this means that directly out of our window they are drilling, using electric saws and hammering from 8 am to 7 ish every single day
i'm not sure if it is intensified as i am pregnant and a bit gnarlyy but it is starting to drive me crazy
there is absolutely no peace during these hours
my flatmate finds it a problem too as he works nights and only gets very broken sleep due to the noise, and he has now decided to move out as a result.
previous tenants have left beacuase of this too and we struggle to pay the mortgage without th extra rent coming in
i have asked them to limit the hours as before but they said no, its because business has improved and they are very busy, but we are in a residential area and i'm sure i'm not the only person who is annoyed by this.
i want to go to the council and report them for noise pollution but am not sure if i am being unreeasonable, or if i'd actually have a case against them
please advise!..it feels like we are living on a building site and may be forced to move..

starlover Tue 16-Aug-05 11:53:17

hmmm it's a difficult one.
i would definitely talk to someone at the council and ask their advice.
however as you moved in knowing that the shop was there and knowing the noise they made (even though it was limited then) I am not sure you would have a case.

expatinscotland Tue 16-Aug-05 11:54:53

Call the council. It's worth a shot. But as it was an existing business w/a permit to do business when you moved in, not sure what action council can take. Also the noise is w/i what most councils define as 'reasonable' hours.

Are your windows double-glazed? That might help dampen the noise.

lemonice Tue 16-Aug-05 11:57:40

Two possibilities occur to me, neither of which might work but:

There are different planning permissions for retail sale and industrial use, check with the planning office whether they have the right permission ie A1 is retail/office, A3 is food sales (I can't remember exactly but worth looking into)

Speak to the Environmental health officer and he/she will advise you, usually very helpful department.

Good Luck.

babyonboard Tue 16-Aug-05 11:57:57

thats what i thought..but as you can imagine it doesn't seem very 'reasonable' to me.
as we have original sash windows that really doesn't help with noise reduction, and we would devalue the property by removing them unfortunately

Easy Tue 16-Aug-05 11:58:13

Talk to the council about whether 'manufacturing' on this scale is actually allowed at these premises.

If the area is mixed commercial and residential, it may be that it is not allowed, but of course, the council won't know it's happening if no-one tells them.

If there are no restrictions from that point of view, there may be restrictions on the volume they can emit. Ask environmental health dept about that.

Jackstini Tue 16-Aug-05 11:58:34

I would check with the council what the useage of the building is limited too - is it just retail or workshop too - and also the hours of business they originally declared. They may be already overstepping the mark with 8am-7pm and/or weekends. If it is really noisy I think they can check the decibel levels too. Definately worth a phone call even just for peace of mind & you know you have done what you can. Good luck

starlover Tue 16-Aug-05 11:59:26

babyonboard do you own the flat?

Easy Tue 16-Aug-05 11:59:47

Lemonice, same adviced as yours, but you are much more eloquent.

spacecadet Tue 16-Aug-05 11:59:49

speak to enviromental health, you may still have a case if the noise is consisntly above a certain number of decobels, they will measure it.

spacecadet Tue 16-Aug-05 12:04:44

if you type noise pollution and your local authourity into your search engine, it will bring up your local authourities policy on it.

babyonboard Tue 16-Aug-05 12:04:49

thanks for the advice..to answer a few questions
-yes, we own the flat
-we are above a row of shops, one is a stereo shop, one a home furnishings and one a restaurant, then there is the fireplace shop. all the other buildings nearby are residential
another concern is that they are usually sawing through marble, granite, metals etc out in the yard and we get quite a lot of dust on our windows and sills, is there a chance that these could be dangerous ?

spacecadet Tue 16-Aug-05 12:07:11

yes, you could complain about the exposure to hazardous substances.

babyonboard Tue 16-Aug-05 12:07:47

i'm just on hold to speak to environmental health..so will update you when i hear from them

spacecadet Tue 16-Aug-05 12:09:00

coshh regulations in force will protect the work men, but if you are coming into contact with them then i think you may have cause to complain.

babyonboard Tue 16-Aug-05 12:10:09

It has become an extra concern now babys arrival is coming up..if we can't stand the noise it will be a nightmare for waking the baby up!
fingers crossed that dp will get his promotion and we can afford to move sooner than planned.

Easy Tue 16-Aug-05 12:15:25

I shouldn't worry about waking baby up. They sleep thru anything (our smoke alarm, the burglar alam going off 3 times in 10 mins cos it was faulty etc. etc.)

assumedname Tue 16-Aug-05 12:18:52

Don't know about regulations, but making that level of noise from 8 am to 7 pm sounds just too long.

Bozza Tue 16-Aug-05 12:23:04

Agree with Easy. The only good thing here is that you will end up with a baby who will sleep through anything. Both of mine have slept through similar things to what Easy says and the baby will already be familiar with this noise!

Would follow other's advice though and contact council.

MascaraOHara Tue 16-Aug-05 12:27:26

But you bought the flat knowing it was there. You have said yourself the the previous tennents left because of the noise.

I do feel for you and if they're breaking the law/their tennancy agreement that's one thing but I think if they are running a legitimate business within the law and you bought the place knowing about the shop then there's not much you can do.

They're hardly going to turn away business to keep the noise down and if it were me with the business I'd be fairly p'd off that someone who moved in after me (knowing about the noise) was then going to make my life difficult. I know I'm the only one with this opinion and I know it sounds harsh but if they're within the law (which they probably are) then I don't think you should/can do anything.

flashingnose Tue 16-Aug-05 12:29:52

I guess if mascara O'H is right, you might have to think about renting the flat out to a F/T working person/couple and finding something quieter yourselves .

Frizbe Tue 16-Aug-05 12:30:32

You could get secondary glazing on the inside to dampen the noise?

babyonboard Tue 16-Aug-05 12:31:49

well firstly i meant that our lodgers have moved out due to the noise..i have no idea why the previous owner left.
also as we only viewed the place twice , and as i have said, they used to only work two days a week we had no idea about the noise at all
i think it is very unreasonable that they need to make the noise for such long hours, every single day of the week, and that the work they do there would be more suitable in an inducstrial or purely commercial area.

babyonboard Tue 16-Aug-05 12:33:24

as for secondary glazing that is a good idea..but i can't bear the thought of having to keep windows closed all the time just to keep out this hideous noise

Easy Tue 16-Aug-05 12:34:10

Mascara, I agree with you, if the shop premises has permission for this level of work. BUT it strikes me that as it has residential accom. above, it may not be allowed (cos of risky materiaals such as varnish etc being stored in the workshop below).

Have you checked your own deeds, to see if anything is mentioned in there?

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