Noisy council depot in Outram Place disturbs local people

noisy council depot outram place

The council depot in Outram Place (map) is causing a lot of noise that disturbs local residents. Council workmen a few years ago began bricking up car parking bays under the 29-36 Outram Place block and turning the area into a work yard.  An Outram Place resident has contacted me and forwarded a couple of emails:

The noise in the house is audible through the walls, but even more than that is the noise of the mechanical street sweepers and the guys driving them and talking amongst themselves at the crack of dawn every day. I know different people have to work at different times, but this is a residential area after all and to operate offices from a residential garage ideal for the community.

[now] they are building a dressing room backing on to my living room and this will cause even more noise.  It is really stressing me out being woken up so early every morning before work.

recently there has been a mechanised service depot introduced into our car parking spaces behind the property. I am writing to voice my concerns about how this area is being used and wish to ask for it to be removed immediately.

Every day I am getting woken up about 5-6am by people shouting and people slamming doors, vehicles being turned on and people making noise. All of this is happeing in what used to be a car parlking space behind my property.

The guys start making noise from 5-6am every morning. This is not acceptable in a residential area. Today I got woken up by someone drilling in the room, I have not been notified of anything being done to our property and low and behold it was being done by the Mechanised service depot. This needs to be relocated as this is not an industrial state, the council have taken over a residential area for this.

As the council have been using this building for the past three years, could you please give me a breakdown of how much the mechanical services depot has put towards the service charges?

Can you please also provide the planning permission that was submitted when the council has changed the usage of our residential block of flats into offices for the mechanised services depot, as I don’t remember being consulted or informed?

Please could you put an action plan together for

A timeline for when this depot will be closed down and relocated.
Reimbursement for every person who has been affected by the noise.
Plan to put money into the services fund for residents who have overpaid service charges unfairly. The amount of space and people going through this depot they should be paying at least 50% of the service charges I have paid.

I attended the site this morning and engines were being left running, doors slammed etc without apparent regard for local people.  The area is a yard enclosed by brick walls that reflect and magnify the sound.  The pictures show how many lorries are based there and on Google Maps we can see at least four street sweepers and five trucks, NSA-style.  the workers who use the depot work hard to keep our streets clean, but it doesn’t need to be as noisy as this.

To me it seems an open and shut case of nuisance under the environmental health act.  Noise from a workplace is repeatedly and plainly audible in a residential dwelling and causes a nuisance to the person that resides there in waking them up, affecting their right to quiet enjoyment of their property.  The council’s environmental protection officers are obliged to enforce the act against the council or its contractors as against any other person.


Then there is the matter of planning permission.  This large secluded yard with concealed car parking used to be a bad place. It was a regular haunt of sex workers with their clients in cars, indeed when i lived nearby I bought handheld search light I used to shine at cars occupied by drug takers and sex workers in the yard and on Randell’s Road to scare them off (it worked really well) and helped get a gate on the entrance.   The bays were regular dumping spots for needles and condoms.  Arson was a frequent problems.  Putting the yard to use, making it somewhere that has regular footfall and bricking up the bays has I think reduced the problems of ASB there – despite one tragedy.

But it is a dense residential area and very noisy use seems wrong.  Indeed the Delhi-Outram estates (named after roads named for key aspects of the 1857 Indian Rebellion) are relatively quiet, peaceful places with no through traffic, making the contrast the more severe.  So if there is no planning permission it needs to be sought retrospectively with proper local consultation and either this space put to a more appropriate use or stringent controls on working hours and noise introduced to save local residents.  I would check for planning permission but the council’s web search thing is broken as I type.  Elsewhere such parking bays have been turned into housing units and this must be possible here.

About William Perrin

Active in Kings Cross London and South Oxfordshire, founder of Talk About Local, helping people find a voice online and a trustee of The Indigo Trust , Good Things Foundation and ThreeSixtyGiving as well as Connect8.
This entry was posted in Anti Social Behaviour, Crime etc, Planning, Licensing and Regulation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Noisy council depot in Outram Place disturbs local people

  1. There had been a long-running dispute about this and the former “arms length” housing management organisaiton HfI seemed to work on the principle that, unless there were complaints, they would store and operate what they call “mechanised services” from this location. In doing so they took over a former kids playground behind the block of flats (21-36 Outram Place) and installed heavy duty razor-wire fencing, lights and CCTV for a vehicle storage area. They also have used the old undercroft for a maintenance workshop and other uses. The “mechanised services” means sweepers and other vehicles used to clean Council estates and I have argued that a more suitable location should be found for their depot. Under one of the other blocks on the estate (numbers 50-80 Bingfield Street) the undercroft is also used to store the lumber and white goods that people dump on our estates and the maneouvering and collection of these items is also pretty disturbing. I am absolutely certain that no planning permission has been given for use of either these locations. An application was submitted over 3 years ago for the playground and undercroft at 21-36 Outram Place. It was for “Construction of a service depot for central estate services” and the entry notes that “This proposal constitutes a departure from the development plan.” The appplication was number P091512 submitted in September 2009 and was technichally for the area udnerneath flats 29-36. It came to the West Area planning comittee which I chaired then and Councillors declined to consider the application because of inadequate information. The application was consequently “withdrawn” and it has never been resubmitted. I think we had better get that sorted out.

  2. HI – it’s William here – i have just had a comment on this post that purports to be from Islington Council but the IP address doesn’t seem correct – could you contact me please to let me know if you are Islington Council or someone using a pseudonym. Pls mail

  3. I have just received a ‘Consultation on the submission of a Planning Application’ letter from Islington Council regarding turning this area into: ‘Office space and parking for service vehicles for mechanised services provided to council estates’. and it states there is ‘Full Planning (Council’s Own)’.

    I was interested to see which area they were talking about since I live here and it has always been a quiet residential area (yes the hookers and dealers made it colourful but seem to have largely moved on in recent years). I had initially thought they were talking about the unused ball park/playground area that they are proposing turning into secured bike sheds for which I am totally up for..but it appears it’s the car park next door.

    I am horrified to learn that Islington Council think that they can plonk an office and a bunch of vehicles in a quiet residential area and think it’s OK just because it’s council land. I have been already forced to live through years of living in a building site (York Way) and also having my sunlight now taken away from 6pm due to the abortion of a building that has been erected on York Way (everyone that visits comments what an ugly building it is). I do not want transient office people walking around and lots of workmen with big vehicles causing pollution, noise and inconvenience. I am somewhat lucky that I live on Outram Place so it doesn’t affect me directly but I sympathise with everyone that it will affect.

    If anybody wants to make ‘objections, support or other comments’ please reply either by email or snail mail to:

    Nathaniel Baker (Case Officer for the Minor Applications Team – whatever that means!)
    Ref: P2013/3432/FUL


    Development Management Service
    Planning and Development
    PO Box 333
    222 Upper Street
    N1 1YA
    (T) 02075272797
    (F) 02075272731

    BEFORE 05 DECEMBER 2013.

    I am already fed up of this area being gentrified/hipsterfied with people living here who probably think it is a hip cool area with no care for the people that have lived here for years and made it their home. Real people can not live here anymore as the rent has shot up to astonishing levels and just because we live in Council properties doesn’t mean we can be treated and trodden on. Imagine if they tried to build this office cum car park by the private blocks on the other side of Bingfield park, i’m sure all the hipsters would have something to say about that! I feel if we all make out voices heard then something may be able to be done, Good Luck!

  4. papitochulito says:

    I have uploaded the original letter received here:

  5. hayley says:

    hi I am a tenant above the office and to be fair its getting beyond me
    I get woken to plus my2 children and once kids have woken theres no getting them back to sleep
    they fill the bins up so we have foxs rodents runningdown there pp going through bins for paper work
    the garage space has been fenced up for bikes but workers bikes
    when I asked about it to store kids and my own bike in I got told its staff only
    I pay full rent and im very intreasted in the servise charge as I have been here a few years and never seen a caretaker along balcony
    how can the council pay out for theses offices when the windows are so bad u can put a pen through them when it rains
    please look into this have I have complained so may times I actually thought I was the only one
    this space needs to be used for somethink elso
    I have to still tell kids that are riding bikes u and down storing stolen bikes behind the bins to get the next morning
    tis space can be used ie kids playground ect
    they have no intrest in dealing with t his matter as dec 13 they done extra work t the site putting a cover up for the carts
    please please someone help

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