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Illegal 'raves' in car park of Hounslow arts centre keeping neighbours awake into early hours

Watermans in Brentford says driver data is being recorded in an attempt to identify the culprits

Illegal "raves" in the car park of a Hounslow arts centre are keeping neighbours up into the early hours.

Watermans , in Brentford High Street, says it is working with police to prevent the frequent disturbances following complaints from residents.

Fraser MacLean, who lives at Lighterage Court in neighbouring Kew Reach, says music can often be heard blasting out from the basement car park until 3am on a weekday morning.

He claims the noisy gatherings have taken place sporadically since he moved in to the Kew Reach development, which is home to around 100 people, in December 2014.

But he says they have become more frequent in recent weeks and he believes more should be done to stop them.

'Noise is enough to wake the dead'

"We live on a busy road and also have the aircraft noise from Heathrow to contend with, which is bad enough, but, as another resident put it, the noise from these raves is enough to wake the dead," he said.

"We think there are usually around 15-20 people, some of whom come by car and some on foot, and they bring a sound system which bangs out a loud bass rhythm."

Mr Fraser says he has called Hounslow Council and the police on numerous occasions but claims in the past police have told him they arrived and could hear nothing.

He believes officers must have turned up at the wrong location as he could still hear the thumping bass after they said they attended.

The basement car park at Watermans Centre, Brentford, where neighbours say illegal 'raves' have been taking place

He believes installing shutters or rising bollards at the entrance to the car park, so it can be shut at night, would help prevent the disturbances.

Police recently appealed to young people not to attend illegal raves or other unlicensed music events, following the mass disorder in Hyde Park.

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Watermans 'working closely with police'

A spokeswoman for Watermans said it was aware of the issue and had been given a code by police with which to report further incidents by phone.

She also said a system had recently been installed to log the number plates of everyone entering the car park, and these records were being examined in a bid to identify the culprits.

She said the building was not staffed at night and while police had been carrying out patrols they could not be present at all times.

The area of the car park where the raves are believed to be occurring actually belongs to the owner of the neighbouring building, she added, and there are additional pedestrian access points to the car park which are not on the arts centre's land.

She said Watermans was working with the tenants of the neighbouring building to see what measures could be taken to prevent the gatherings.

As for installing a bollard, she said this was "prohibitively" expensive, though it may have to be considered if no other solution could be found.

"We have been actively pursuing a solution and are as keen as the residents to see this dealt with. We are working closely with the police to achieve that end," she added.

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