The HS2 railway project and Camden Borough Council agreed to pay residents compensation of almost £10,000 due to environmental noise levels deemed ‘unacceptably high’. Council residents have been re-housed and lease-holders will receive the market value of their property plus £71,000 in compensation.
The current project has been involved in building HS2’s main London terminus at Euston. This ‘mega-project; includes 10 new platforms, a new concourse, and several new connections to the Underground station.
The deal comes after a report from the Euston partnership board received around 240 complaints in 6 months during 2020. These complaints were from locals relating to noise from the site. The most affected tenants have already been re-housed, while many more are still waiting to be moved out of the area.
Environmental noise is not just a nuisance
Noise levels from the site have been documented at around 95-97 decibels every 2 minutes. According to the HS2 website, they are committed to taking ‘all reasonable steps to minimise the adverse effects of noise and vibration’.
Construction sites have a legal responsibility to ensure that noise and vibration is kept to a minimum, not only for employees but for the wider community. When environmental noise levels get too high, it can have a detrimental effect on the long term health and wellbeing of workers and residents.
Works at HS2 are said to continue until 2029 – 2033. This means there may be more problems relating to noise and vibration as the time goes on. Reasonably, the HS2 project has implemented new policies on the control of noise and vibration at the site. However, a project like this requires numerous risk assessments at various junctions, as levels of local and environmental noise will vary.
Why noise assessments are essential
Because noise pollution is classed as a health hazard, it is essential that levels are kept to a minimum. Noise pollution is a serious concern in the UK, and in particularly in populated places like London. Industrial areas may also be a hot-bed for noise and vibration, so compliance managers must make sure that their businesses compliance is kept up to date. .
The law on noise pollution is really clear in that environmental noise assessments must be regularly done to monitor any adverse effects.
The Environmental Noise (England) Regulations 2006 implements the European Noise Directive. This requires European companies to conduct environmental noise monitoring and take steps to control the impact on the wider environment. Businesses may be required to carry out an assessment for various reasons, including regulatory compliance. And, when conducting environmental impact assessments as well as making applications for planning and EPR permits. In addition to this, statutory noise complaints received have to be followed up in accordance with UK compliance law.
How we can help
Safety First Group has over 10 years experience conducting workplace and environmental noise assessments. Our Occupational Hygienists have a wide portfolio of experience in measuring and analysing environmental noise for businesses ranging from construction, road traffic and manufacturing, to entertainment venues.
We propose recommendations for your business in our detailed reports, which we then aim to deliver to clients within 25 working days. Whilst we are on site, we can also consult/risk assess other areas of compliance, meaning that you can get most things done and dusted within 1 full day. No fuss, a single compliance provider, and more time for you to concentrate on what you do best! To speak to one of our noise consultants, you can either fill out our contact form here, or call us on 0845 004 2133.