On Wednesday 13 May 2020, the government published a written ministerial statement on planning and construction working hours.
This statement expects local planning authorities to approve requests to extend construction working hours temporarily to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines from 8am until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, unless there are very compelling reasons against this. Sundays and Bank Holidays remain as non-working days.
We understand that extended construction hours may have an impact on nearby residents. More so than ever before, people are in their homes and we have seen an increase in the number of construction site nuisance complaints.
In line with government advice, we are asking contractors to be considerate of their neighbours and would like to thank residents for their patience during these unusual times. Our Environmental Health team is working with developers to ensure that every effort is made to minimise and control noise.
Operators of construction sites will:
- Email requests to extend construction times outside of those identified in a planning condition to our Planning Enforcement team
- Give neighbours who may be affected by particular work at least 48 hours’ notice.
- Make sure that particularly noisy work is carried out within normal working hours.
- Choose the quietest suitable equipment, keep it properly maintained and follow safe working practices (i.e. follow Best Practicable Means – BPM).
- Tell any subcontractors to follow agreed guidelines on noise, dust and other matters.
- Not allow workers to use radios on the site if this could cause a disturbance.
- Avoid the need to park on the street by providing on-site parking wherever possible.
- Keep the public roads and footpaths clean and tidy.
- Report any problem by filling in an online form or by calling 01843 577580.
- Keep a noise nuisance diary if the problem is not resolved straight away.
The council’s first action is always to discuss the situation with the site operators. While the council will step in to take enforcement action where appropriate, we often find that they are unaware of the problems they may be causing. Once it is brought to their attention, they tend to cooperate in taking action to deal with the matter.