A COMMUNITY centre which made life unbearable for North Paddington residents after hosting various late night steel drum band sessions has been fined.
A number of complaints were made about the Yaa Asantewa Arts Centre, in Chippenham Mews, including some neighbours who said the steel band practice was so loud they could not even talk in their own homes. Those living next door bore the full brunt.
Some residents also complained about the noise from social events at the centre, which could sometimes be heard until the early hours of the morning.
Despite pleading guilty in a previous court appearance for the same offences committed in 2007, the centre continued to ignore the plight of neighbours, causing Westminster Council to start legal proceedings in August last year.
At City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on October 19, the centre was fined £2,000 after being found guilty of two counts of statutory noise nuisance.
The council's cabinet member for community safety, Councillor Daniel Astaire said: "Community centres are meant to benefit their local area, not blight it.
"It is unacceptable to make life intolerable for local residents and, over a two-year period, the poor residents have endured countless disturbed days and nights.
"We all have a right to live in peace in our own home, and we have tried our hardest to negotiate with Yaa Asantewa, but they have ignored our wishes and ridden roughshod over the wishes of their neighbours.
"We're happy to assist the steel bands who have been using it to find alternative venues, and we would urge our residents they do not need to suffer in silence if noisy neighbours are making their life hell."
* Westminster Council offers a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week noise team, which deals with more than 18,000 calls a year.
Residents or businesses can report problems with noise to the team on 020 7641 2000.