News

Suez noise nuisance: residents continue to suffer

This page has been prepared for:
– Councillors Paul Church, Glenys Roberts & Jonathan Glanz
– Professor Geoff Petts, Vice-Chancellor, University of Westminster
Lady Sorrell, Chancellor, University of Westminster
Anuja Jayawickrema, Environmental Health Officer, Westminster
– Westminster Noise Team
– Suez Support Team

Despite two previous promises from Suez that they will ensure their noisy rubbish collections happen after 7am, once again they have gone back on their word and residents are suffering interupted sleep:

This morning the Suez rubbish collection woke the entire neighbourhood at a ridiculously early 5.38am. (Video with timestamp below.)

As Suez have not been able to solve the problem internally, the residents have now requested our Councillors contact the senior management of the University directly.

Friday 24 Nov 2017, 6.30am Thursday 30 Nov 2017, 5.38am

 

Suez Trucks – Noise Nuisance Univ. of Westminster PART II

This page has been prepared for:
– Environmental Health Officer, City Of Westminster
– Westminster Noise Team
– Councillors Glenys Roberts, Paul Church & Jonathan Glanz

The problem:

Every weekday morning between 6am and 6.45am local residents are being woken by the deafening noise of the Suez rubbish trucks collecting from the University of Westminster.

Background:

This is not a new issue.  Back in July of this year, the residents believed that this problem had been solved thanks to the involvement of Ms Anuja Jayawickrema (Environmental Health Officer, City Of Westminster) – story here.  Both the University and Suez had acknowledged the problem and the negative impact it was having on neighbours.  Suez reviewed their schedule so that collections happened after 7am.

Unfortunately the early morning collections have started again. This time the problem is worse because there are usually two separate collections: for example, this morning Monday 9th October at 6.09am and again at 6.26am (see videos below).

Footnote: Westminster Council have recently rescheduled their own rubbish collections to happen between 8am and 10am – story here.  This has made a tremendous improvement to the lives of local residents.  We are at a loss as to why Suez and the University of Westminster are unwilling or unable to make the same adjustment.

Monday 9th October 2017:

  6.09am   6.26am

Friday 6th October 2017:

  6.43am

Thursday 5th October 2017:

  6.28am

Wednesday 4th October 2017:

  6.30am

Tuesday 3rd October 2017:

  6.46am

Monday 2nd October 2017:

  6.37am

 

Are we Victorian?

As a condition for the renovation work on 36 to 40 Langham Street, Westminster Council required the production of a Historic Building Recording Report.  This report features a section on Middleton Place.

The author suggests that the original houses in Middleton Place, built in 1759 in the tail end of the reign of King George II, may have been rebuilt prior to new leases being issued in 1856:

The full report (split into three parts) can be found here.

New rubbish collection times starting 4 Sept 2017

From Monday 4th September, new recycling and rubbish collection times come into enforcement in Riding House Street.

Recycling & Rubbish:

  • Place on street between 7.30 and 8am, Monday to Sunday
  • Collection between 8 and 10am, Monday to Sunday

These times are a great improvement, previously we could only recycle on a Thursday, and there was no weekend collection.

If you have to dispose of rubbish outside these hours, use the bins located on Riding House Street between Wells Street and Bourlet Close.

[Please do not join the illegal fly-tippers at the junction of Langham Street and Gosfield Street. The Council is planning strict enforcement and fines for the anti-social people who do it.]

 

High speed broadband arrives!

For anyone who missed the leaflet, BT have announced that their high speed broadband service, called BT Infinity, is available in Middleton Place.

A quick check at their advertised URL: bt.com/upgrade-now shows prices range from £34.99 to £56.49, depending on which package options you select.

Virgin, Sky and other providers are still not offering high speed internet but it can only be a matter of time. Keep an eye on USwitch for the latest offers.

Suez Trucks – Noise Nuisance University of Westminster

This page has been prepared for Ms Anuja Jayawickrema (Environmental Health Officer, City Of Westminster).

Video footage of the Suez rubbish collection trucks:

Tuesday 4 July 2017 at 6:16am:

Wednesday 5 July 2017 at 6:19am:

Thursday 6 July 2017 at 5:58am:

Resident’s Disturbance Log:
Here follows a list of recent dates and times when residents logged that they were woken by the University of Westminster rubbish collections:

Mon 12th June: 6.40am
Tue 13th June: 6.43am
Wed 14th June: 6.40am
Thu 15th June: 6.30am

On Thursday 15th June, we received an email response from the Estates Services Manager of the University of Westminster stating “I have forwarded the issues to our waste contractor, SUEZ. They are being asked to review their drivers’ schedule“.

Consequently, despite the daily disturbance continuing, we stopped keeping our log. We re-started our log on Monday 26th June because we had not noticed any improvement:

Mon 26th June: 6.20am
Tue 27th June: 6.06am
Wed 28th June: 6.20am
Thu 29th June: 6.12am
Fri 30th June: 6.24am

Mon 3rd July: 6:24am
Tue 4th July: 6:16am
Wed 5th July: 6:19am
Thu 6th July: 5:58am

As you can see, since we made our approach to the University to ask if they could re-schedule the collections, the collections have become even earlier. We are a loss as to understand why the University would react in this inappropriate and unneighbourly way.

The Night No One Slept, Part II

Through a combination of late night and early morning business activity, residents can no longer get a good night’s sleep.

It’s nine months since we first highlighted this problem (back in September 2016) and the situation is getting worse. Let’s use the last 24 hours to demonstrate.


Wednesday 5 July 2017, coming up for midnight…
Once again, the late night abuse came from the Yorkshire Grey pub where noisy drinkers were on the pavement until well after 11:30pm (Westminster Noise report: 17/21076/ENC45) as the following video shows:

 

Thursday 6th July 2017 at 5:58am (ie: approx 6 hours later)…
If you fell asleep as soon as the pub went quiet then you might have been lucky enough to get nearly 6 hours sleep before being rudely awakened by the University of Westminster’s private waste contractors:

Once again we ask: is this the new normal for the residents of Fitzrovia? Can it be acceptable for businesses to prevent us from getting a good night’s sleep?

Spread of Fire: risk assurance

This page has been prepared for Councillor Paul Church (Deputy Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services and Public Health, West End Ward).

Background

There is a boundary that separates the rear of the residences in Middleton Place and the rear of the office block at 84-86 Great Portland Street. This boundary consists of two walls built back-to-back. One wall is owned by the office block, the other by the residents of Middleton Place:

The office wall is a consistent height along its length. The height of the residents’ wall varies and in places it is higher than the office wall while in other places it is lower.

In 2016/2017 the office landlords (Great Portland Estates) carried out construction work on their wall, including the insertion of steel beams into the wall. These steel beams broke through the office wall and meet the residents’ wall.

The residents are seeking assurance that this construction work complies with ‘The Building Regulations 2010, Fire Safety’ (link to official document here).

Agreed Facts

Great Portland Estates (GPE) have agreed that their wall is of existing masonry construction and that it has been modified by the setting of new steelwork into the wall.

Additionally, in his email of 3rd February 2016, John Pitman of Butler & Young, the Approved Inspectors appointed by GPE, has indicated that this modification falls under Section 13.13 of the Building Regulations 2010, Fire Safety:

Mr Pitman’s email does address part (a) of Section 13.13.  However, it does not address part (b) which stipulates that the wall be “fire-resisting from both sides”:

The residents believe that the wall is not fire-resisting from both sides. Consequently we are seeking assurance that:

  • either, Section 13.13 of the Building Regulations 2010 (Spread of Fire) does not apply,
  • or, the work on the wall is compliant with the regulations,
  • or, that it is not compliant but it has been assessed and is not considered a risk,
  • or, that it is not compliant and remedial work will be undertaken.

Footnotes:

It doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, yet our surveyor Mark Behan has been seeking this specific information since January 2017 and has not had a satisfactory response from GPE or its representatives.

GPE had been covering Mark’s costs as part of the project but Mark wrote to us recently to say “they are not going to pay for any of my time to look at building Act/Regs matters”.

Westminster Council (in particular Chidi Freeman) have been helpful but unfortunately the works in question were not overseen by Westminster District Surveyors. In the absence of a satisfactory response from GPE, the Council have advised us to seek assurance directly from Butler & Young, the approved inspectors appointed by GPE (application 15.02475.IN):

Butler & Young Ltd
Unit 10 Airport House
Purley Way
Croydon
Surrey
CR0 0XZ
Tel: 0203 384 7730
http://www.butlerandyoung.co.uk/

Cllr Paul Church has kindly agreed to make the request for this assurance on behalf of the residents.