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 Armstrong & Co Solicitors

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Incosiderate builders
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Posts: 388
Joined: May 2004
Post: #1
11-10-2008 03:26 PM

As my many friends will know we in the posh estate (aka UDB) seem to have permanent building work going on. Builders vans, builders skips, builders noise. The early morning skip deliveries on a Saturday are particularly unwelcome!

Usually it is exected that the builders do not start work until 8, finish at noon on Saturdays and don't work Sundays. Believe this will be part of planning permission where required. One owner flouted this quite often and you do not get very far when calling the council on a Saturday. Also told the owner but as with most people it is difficult to get the tone right.

The builders over the road have loud conversations with each other and on the phone whilst they are waiting to start, often close to 7am. Never mind it wont be for long. And the driver of the truck leaves his enging idling for quarter of an hour plus. Asked nicely if he will turn his engine off as he is sending diesel fumes our way he tells me very impolitely (using a certain anglo saxon expletive) that it is none of my business even if he is wasting his own fuel.

In Westminster there is a considerate builder scheme. Any views before I raise this idea with my councillors? Doubt whether it is a runner.

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Posts: 1,411
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
11-10-2008 08:43 PM

When the builders opposite me were inconsiderate I found out the name and address of their head office and had a long telephone conversation with a contact there., who toldme he would discuss my complaint with the site manager. I got a few frosty looks from the building site opposite, but no more bother.

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Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2004
Post: #3
12-10-2008 12:05 PM

Baggydave, have you considered getting up earlier in the morning? And it's hard not to empathise with a lorry driver who's been rudely jolted from his morning reverie, understandably disorientated by the flounce of Afghan coat and petulant swirl of ear bobbles on a rapidly-approaching Norwegian knitted hat.

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Posts: 133
Joined: May 2007
Post: #4
13-10-2008 09:43 AM

BD, It's very much the same in my neck of the woods and they will also work on Sundays and Bank Holidays if they can get away with it. Building site radios at full volume seem to be another favourite. The worst I've experienced was a JCB digging out foundations on Rememberance Sunday at 11.00 am...

But as I'm sure you appreciate, what you describe is actually down to the council Environmental Health dept to enforce.

I always assumed that when a local council granted planning permission for a development, it would automatically send the developer a copy of the permtted working hours as laid down by Environmental Health. But no! it seems that you cannot guarantee any such working relationship between the planning department and environmental health department and hence developers/residents can blissfully plead ignorance when you politely remind them of their obligations.

Subsequently, I always keep a few hard copies of the EH working hours at hand which can then be passed on to the offenders as and when necessary. Essentially, once you've presented them with the council information, they can no longer plead ignorance.

A ex working colleague of mine used to be a councillor in one of the London Boroughs and he told me that his council tackled the problem by making the building working hours an actual written condition in the planning process. Thus planning permission was granted on the understanding that the developer would satisfy the condition and there could be no excuses for them not knowing about it.

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Posts: 388
Joined: May 2004
Post: #5
13-10-2008 06:15 PM

Thank you as ever TJ for pointing out the error of my ways. If only someone had taken me in hand during my formative years I would not have gone down the path of namby pamby (or nimby pimpy) liberalism. What a shining example you are to all of us.

And thanks for the other constructive comments. I believe working hours are built into planning permission conditions. From experience with other local authorities it can be quite hard to get them to do anything about noise annoyance.

In case I've missed the point, I'd just like to say how grateful I am to TJ.

So three chaps are informed by the local authority that they are having a bus stop outside their house. The working class chap goes up to the transport department and shows his disapproval by punching the (male) head of the department. The upper class chap? Well don't be daft, they wouldn't have a bus route outside the house. And what does the middle class chap do? He writes to his local paper/MP/social networking site/moans at the residents association AGM.... (delete as appropriate) saying whilst he is in full support of public transport he would prefer if the bus stop was not outside his house.

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Posts: 84
Joined: Nov 2004
Post: #6
13-10-2008 07:44 PM

Think nothing of it bagster.

But don't you think your problem in approaching this chap was that he assumed you were what our medical friends reduce to the acronym GROLI ? Surely if you'd been smartly turned out in a Crombie suit with a copy of the Telegraph tucked under your arm the chap would have not only have been naturally deferential but also taken pity on the assumption that you had a hard day ahead of you firing junior traders.

Is it not that your face simply no longer fits amongst the Daily Mail readers of your retirement estate? Don't you sometimes yearn to dismantle your yurt and move out to a nice double-garaged neo-Georgian teepee in Surrey?

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
14-10-2008 08:42 PM

I filmed a firm ( term loosely used ) in our road recently who started some noisy tree works at 7am and pretended to email it to Lewisham Environmental Health ( another term loosely used) as well as pretending to call them and have a conversation. OK, it was early and I was desperate however it worked and they stopped and so far no bricks have come flying through our window as a result.
Probably easier for a woman to do and get away with without being punched.

A bit of bluff can work if used appropriately. Call their shots and see. Instill a bit of fear.

You could however speak to the owner as it is effectively by his /her actions ( employing s*d and Co) that you are having your enjoyment of your home interrupted. Instil some fear in them, sounds as if they deserve it.

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