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Noisy Energie Gym
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Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2013
Post: #1
27-01-2014 09:33 PM

Hi guys, I'm writing it here because I don't really know what to do.

I live in a rented flat direct above the Energie Gym in Forest Hill, London road and they are very, very noisy. It's making me and my pregnant wife crazy. We have been living here for 4 years already and in the beginning it was not that bad. We have recently contacted them via email in a very polite way, they agreed to tune the volume down, but they didn't. The noise is so loud and the bass is so hard, it shakes all the glasses in the kitchen!
The loud music comes from the classes they do, and some classes starts at as early as 7am! I had to call them today at 7:15am to put the volume down.

I work in the hospitality business, and sometimes get home very late, and I just cannot afford to have loud music at 7am in my ears!

I called Lewisham Council once to get some guidance, but the person I spoke with said I had to understand they (the gym) have a business to run.
I do understand they have a business to run, but maybe they should have a noise insulation or something like that I guess.

The most obvious solution would be to just move out, but we just really love the area and really like the flat.

What should I do? Any advice would be appreciated.

This post was last modified: 27-01-2014 09:39 PM by rowadona.

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Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #2
27-01-2014 10:13 PM

As much as I sympathise with you and feel for your situation. If you choose to live above or below any kind of business you have to put up with what they offer. I don't think you will get anywhere with Lewisham Council as the business is up and running allready but hopefully you can build a relationship with the gym and come to a good agreement. I know if it was me I'd be more than happy to try and resolve any situation. BTW congratulations, hope the birth goes well!

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Posts: 23
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #3
27-01-2014 10:37 PM

oise from commercial premises is often dealt with in the same way as that from domestic premises.

However, in some cases we may not need to prove a statutory nuisance where the premises holds a public entertainment licence.

Noise from licensed premises

Licences are issued for premises in order to ensure that the disturbance caused to the general public is kept to a minimum.

Action can be taken against a premises that operates outside of its licensing agreement.

Report a problem with commercial noise pollution

During office hours - call 020 8314 2170
We have an immediate response service during office hours, 9.30am - 4pm.

Outside of office hours - call switchboard 020 8314 6000
We run a weekday evening service 7pm - 12 midnight and a weekend night-time service 7pm - 3am Friday to Sunday. We will call you back within 30 minutes and if necessary, visit you within a further 45 minutes.

Environmental Enforcement
Tel: 020 8314 2299

Good luck that would drive me crazy!

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Posts: 271
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #4
28-01-2014 09:33 AM

Much as I sympathise, the gym has been there for some time and filled a space when McDonalds closed. There should be a rule that you cannot object to pre-existing businesses (see what Ministry of Sound are having to go through).

If you want peace and quiet, accept you should not live there! Sorry!

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Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #5
28-01-2014 11:02 AM

Everyone has the right to live in peace. I am sure the gym have a sound restriction on them so I would call the councils environments dept. Playing music in the gym is great, playing it very loud is another.

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Posts: 583
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #6
28-01-2014 11:08 AM

Sorry but I agree with PVP.
My advice would be to go down to the gym, arrange to talk to the manager over a cup of coffee, invite him up to your flat when said early morning class is happening to hear the level of noise so he knows you're not being fussy and take it from there.
The gym probably has enough problems surviving against the competition of FH Pools, I think the last thing they need is an official complaint about noise levels.

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Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #7
28-01-2014 11:51 AM

The OP has stated he has already politely contacted the gym who said they would turn it down but didn't.

Next step, the council.

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Posts: 371
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #8
28-01-2014 01:25 PM

This government webpage gives advice on resolving neighbour disputes.

It advises that you contact the neighbour first to try to settle the dispute, and if that doesn't work then the landlord (if there is one), then the council. Noise constitutes a 'statutory nuisance' and the penalty is:

"If the council decides someone is causing a statutory noise nuisance they must issue a 'noise abatement' order. This tells the person what they must do to stop making a noise nuisance or else face further legal action.

If someone breaks an abatement order about noise from their home, they can be fined up to £5,000. If it's noise from a factory or business, the penalty can be up to £20,000."

The decision notice from Lewisham Council granting Energie permission for change of use to a gym included some additional conditions:

"2. Full written details, including relevant drawings and specifications of:-

(a) The existing construction of the ceilings and walls separating the use hereby permitted and the upper floors of the premises and the adjacent properties; and

(b) The proposed works of soundproofing against airborne and impact sound

shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The use hereby permitted shall not commence until the soundproofing works have been implemented in accordance with the approved details. The soundproofing shall be retained permanently with the approved details."

"4. No music, amplified sound system or other form of loud noise (such as singing or chanting) shall be used or generated which is audible outside the premises or within adjoining buildings."

I don't see an entry on Lewisham's planning website to show that Energie submitted written details about soundproofing etc as set out in section 2 above, but it might just be that they did but it wasn't logged on the site. If I were you I would contact Lewisham Planning department ( quoting Energie's application for change of use (DC/08/70259/X - The change of use of 26-28 London Road SE23, from restaurant (Use Class A3) to a health and fitness club (Use Class D2)) and ask if Energie complied with condition 2 of the Decision Notice.

As for dealing directly with Energie, I would do what nottinghillbilly suggests and approach the manager and invite him/her to your flat to hear for themselves. Be non-confrontational but assertive. You might want to point out that it was a condition of their planning permission that they shouldn't be generating noise that can be heard outside the premises or within adjoining buildings. And you could also ask if they would provide you with a copy of the soundproofing details that were approved by the Council.

If there's still a problem after that then contact Energie every time the music is a nuisance, and keep a log of each occurrence (date, time, duration, etc) and any contact you have with Energie. Then write to them saying that the noise is still causing a nuisance and you will be asking Lewisham Council to investigate and if necessary issue a noise abatement order.

Good luck!

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Posts: 814
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #9
28-01-2014 03:09 PM

Agree with the OP.
Their business is running a gym not a disco.

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Posts: 189
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #10
28-01-2014 11:09 PM

Noise at a level to rattle the cups on the floor above sounds unnecessary, especially if soundproofing is in place. Can that level even be good for the gym-users eardrums? The music in the gym at Forest Hill Pools isn't particularly loud, and they have plenty of customers. Come on Energie, turn the volume down! Or maybe move the speakers, if they are fixed near the ceiling?

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Posts: 136
Joined: Nov 2010
Post: #11
29-01-2014 12:18 AM

They have recently invested in club standard speakers because the in built ones blew quite a while back. As a customer I have to say I like the better quality sound and the volume. I can see why you guys would be climbing the walls in a flat above the gym. Speakers like the ones they have are going to make some serious vibrations in your place.

I used to live above commercial premises in Shoreditch, Chelsea and Soho. Basically it comes with the territory to get woken up at weird hours. My partner and I moved into a residential area and the for the main part things are fine. Rather than taking on a big battle and perhaps hurting a local business why not move? It's a lot easier!

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Posts: 189
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #12
29-01-2014 12:34 AM

So maybe Energie's soundproofing was suitable for the original speakers and not for the new club-style ones, in which case perhaps the soundproofing needs reviewing now?

It would be good to have a comment from Energie themselves.

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Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2013
Post: #13
29-01-2014 02:31 AM

I don't know exactly when the gym actually opened, but, I think it was in 2009. I'm pretty sure that when we moved in (september 2009) the gym was not open for a long time.

In the beginning we didn't have any problems with loud music at all. I think the loud music only started sometime in 2013, I don't know exactly the date.

Since the user Pico said they recently installed club standard speakers, it all makes sense now.

I also sympathise with them, it's not like we hate them or want them to close. The last thing I want to do is to make an official complain, I rather just fix the situation over a conversation.

Answering Pico's comment, It wouldn't be a lot easier for us to move out. As I said, apart from this problem, I'm very happy with the flat and specially the area. We are having a baby and everything is already set. My wife is due in 1 week with our first baby and this noise problem and moving out are the last things we want to be thinking about.

I will pop in the gym, ask for the manager, have a sit with him and see how it goes. I know its a s***ty situation for both of us, but, at the end of the day, I believe we have the right to live in my flat in peace.

Thank you blushingsnail for all the information, that will probably help a lot.

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Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2012
Post: #14
29-01-2014 08:08 AM

I suspect you'll have another noise problem to worry about in a week's time, and being woken up as late as 7am will feel like a delight for some years to come...

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Posts: 189
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #15
29-01-2014 09:48 AM

Good luck Rowadona, both with your friendly chat and with the birth. Hope you get to stay in your home.

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Posts: 1,389
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
29-01-2014 12:43 PM

Find out what their planning permission says. Sometimes it imposes time restrictions.

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Posts: 189
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #17
30-01-2014 10:24 AM

Blushingsnail's post indicates that the planning permission specifies no noise should be heard outside the gym at any time:

"No music, amplified sound system or other form of loud noise (such as singing or chanting) shall be used or generated which is audible outside the premises or within adjoining buildings."

I don't see there's any question of the gym having to close, but according to the terms of their planning permission they are required to either turn the volume down so that the noise can't be heard in the flat above, or get appropriate soundproofing.

It would be interesting to hear Energie's side of this. Are they perhaps not convinced that the noise can be heard upstairs? Have they been up to listen yet?

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Posts: 32
Joined: Dec 2010
Post: #18
30-01-2014 03:28 PM

"who came first" is irrelevant in English Law when deciding whether something is a nuisance or not. It was enshrined in Sturges v Bridgman (1879) LR 11 Ch D 852 if anyone is interested. There is a nice Wikipedia Article about it here:Link

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Posts: 24
Joined: Feb 2010
Post: #19
30-01-2014 09:19 PM

As a mum to a 4 month old I can tell you that you will be up at 7 (and 6 and 5). Babies like noise so you might find that it isn't that much of a problem once your baby arrives. Good luck with your new baby!

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Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #20
30-01-2014 09:59 PM

Please don't have a go at me anyone, but for what It's worth these guys at Energie Gym get involved with the local community. They gave me a voucher worth over 200 (biggest donation from local traders) to raise money for The Evelina Children's Hospital to help me and my little customer raise money for the hospital she attends. At the same time I want rowadona to be happy at home too. I'm sure you both can work this out without involving other parties that may jepordise a local business as lovers of FH, go on kiss and make up! If not I'm happy to help If I can in anyway.

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