Argent has appointed Carillion to build the first phase of the Railwaylands development behind the station. There is a story here on the Carillion site about the £90m contract:
‘The first contract comprises the construction of 450,000 sq ft of office space and terms have been agreed for pre-letting some 250,000 sq ft to Sainsbury’s. Work is due to start on site in November 2008 and is scheduled for completion within two years ready for occupation in 2011.’
This company will be the ones digging holes, hammering piles, grinding, welding and hauling the dirt and construction materials through our streets over the next few years. So we need to think as a community what are the things we do and don’t want them to do. And build relationships with the Camden and Islington noise and environment pollution officers.
What do we think we should be asking for up front? Here’s my starter for ten. Clearly strict adherence to normal working hours (no noise after 1200 on Saturdays for instance). Regular hours in the summer and winter. A private 24 hours contact number for the contractors on site and the company management in charge of the site. Daily damping down of dust. Mandatory wheel washing. White noise reversing beepers only on all plant. Two weeks notification of noisy work (piling, hammering etc). Piling to be muffled. No construction traffic down residential Copenhagen Street which has four of five nurseries and a primary school nor Wharfdale Road – all lorries and plant to go down Pancras Road which has no residents onto Euston Road. Regular meetings with residents and councillors and a well resourced communications plan.
Other suggestions ?
My successful experience with another big company, Cemex (see here) suggests that you can use large companies’ environmental policies to drive change as long as you go in at the board level with evidence – especially a video. And write to the fund managers that invest in them. On tactical noise complaints the Noise Abatement Society has an excellent forum where activists from all over the country help each other out.
A quick Google suggests that Carillion does talk the talk on the environment and has won several awards. Their environment policy says amongst other things:
‘The prevention of pollution and monitoring and reducing any adverse impact of the Groups’ operations on the environment and local community’
An award Carillion is up for says:
‘..since the early 1990s, the company has acknowledged the importance of the integration and management of environmental impacts. This has now been developed into a sustainability strategy that brings together the vision, values and objectives of Carillion’s business under the guiding principle of "sustainable solutions for the way we live"’
Let’s see how we get on.