Summary: Mr D, supported by his neighbour Mr E, complains about the Council’s failure to take action to tackle noise nuisance he has experienced from a neighbouring industrial estate. Mr D and Mr E say because of the noise from the industrial estate, they and their families have suffered continued disturbance, especially at night. This has harmed their quality of life and enjoyment of their home
The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.
To remedy the injustice caused we recommend that within three months of the date of this report the Council:
- provide a written apology to Mr D accepting the findings of this investigation;
- agree with Mr D the appointment and terms of reference of an independent noise consultant with no previous involvement in the events covered by this complaint. Included in the terms of reference the consultant should provide a further analysis of the noise impacts experienced by Mr D from the industrial estate and a distribution business in particular; using the methodology set out in British Standard 4142. They should also make sure the analysis provides for accurate measurements of noise inside the bedrooms of Mr D’s home. They should provide advice also on mitigation measures including the suggestion of an acoustic barrier fence. The consultant should produce their report within three months of their appointment;
- confirm in writing that it will meet with Mr D further to that report and consider its findings. The Council will then put in writing to Mr D its response to the report. This will set out any plan for further action to try and reduce the impact of noise on him. Or it will explain if it considers no further action is merited based on that report; and
- reserve £3,600 to be used as follows. The Council will either pay this directly to Mr D and Mr E equally further to the meeting outlined above as a direct financial remedy (i.e. £1,800 each) in recognition of their injustice. Or, with their agreement, it will use that money towards providing any noise mitigation works the consultant might recommend to which the Council may also want to contribute separately or seek to encourage payments also from businesses on the industrial estate.
Ombudsman satisfied with Council's response: 22 June 2021.