Cemex a colossal Mexican concrete company bought UK conrete-ier Readymix and the knackered old concrete plant sandwiched between Randalls Road, Rufford Street and the railway. They have a long history of incredibly noisy, in my view illegal behaviour. We have been covering their mis-demeanours on this site since 2006, most recently last year. And now they are at it again. Local resident Stuart (a lawyer) copies me his Saturday email to Cemex:
The noise coming from the site today is unbearable. I cannot hear myself think and I cannot concentrate on work I have to do following a 50 hour working week.
You have been carrying out the activity I have complained about before whereby a man with a mallet bashes the cement mixers presumably to remove concrete as part of a cleaning process. This is primitive and unbearably noisy. Since 0925 this morning this has been non-stop (3 hours and counting). It is a Saturday. The noise far exceeds any other construction noise that would be tolerated in a residential area.
When they are battering away like this it is a like a huge atonal church bell echoing through the neighbourhood.
Cemex in 2006/7 was investigated by Islington’s environmental health team after local people (including me) had made a number of complaints – here’s a letter from Islington to Cemex (karas to cemex). In my view Cemex are committing what is known as ‘statutory nuisance‘ – basically when a business repeatedly interferes with people’s right to quite enjoyment of their property. The way statutory nuisance works, it is for the council to prosecute nuisance makers. In 2006/7 to stave off possible prosecution Cemex agreed a noise management plan which you can see here: cemex noise management plan.
Over the years many complaints have been made in different ways and local people have tried to work with them. Cemex though in a modern environmentally friendly guise have a management pattern which seems to be to let things slip until complaints get to a high level, then correct things and let them slip again over the following months and years. Given the amount of construction in London and in the immediate area this must be a lucrative plant with aged most-likely written off facilities having money wrung out of them – the community should look at whether this is an appropriate site for a plant any more and whether a high enough price is being charged for its environmental impact.
Way, way back in the 1960s the application to build a concrete plant here was turned down twice by the council largely on noise grounds who were then over-ruled by the planning inspector – his report RMC Rufford St, Inspector, 1961 The area then was just as built up in a different way -there were buildings where the park now is and 1-2 Rufford Street now flats was a warehouse. Anyone living there would have known that there was a concrete plant when moving in, but would have assumed reasonably that it abided by the law and did not commit nuisance.
As well as noise, every day Cemex receives many lorry loads of material to make concrete and lorries leave carrying concrete. These gouge huge holes in the road where 30 tonne trucks make a very tight turn grinding out several huge potholes. The holes are probably the biggest in Islington – you could raise a carp in one. On a basic health and safety level these are huge vehicles making a reverse turn across a pavement with no banksman. This would not be allowed on a building site.