A NOISY commercial laundry has been ordered to pay more than £30,000 following action by Ealing Council.
MacGill of Kensington LLP pleaded guilty at Ealing Magistrates Court (on July 2) to eight charges relating to excessive noise at its premises in Greenock Road, Acton.
The court case followed monitoring of MacGill by the counci's noise nuisance team following a long campaign from nearby residents who said the constant noise, day and night, had made their lives a misery.
Following an investigation, a verbal warning was issued. However, despite the owners agreeing to take action to reduce the noise, the disturbance continued. A legal noise abatement notice was served to the business a week later which the laundry ignored.
After more complaints and council investigations a further notice was issued to MacGills who were informed the council intended to apply for an injunction in the High Court.
Despite the business saying they would comply with this latest notice, and carrying out works to make some of their equipment quieter, residents continued to be disturbed during the day and night. Council officers continued to visit the laundry and surrounding homes and found the noise coming from the dryers to be at an unacceptable level on several occasions.
In court, the company pleaded guilty to eight breaches of the noise abatement notices and was ordered to pay £2,250 for each offence, £18,000 in total. They were also ordered to pay the council’s costs of £12,558.30 plus a £200 victim surcharge.
Resident Martin Kelly, who has lead the protest for nearby residents, said he was bitterly disappointed by the fine and said the noise, while slightly improved, was still constant. He said: "I'm greatly disappointed at this fine. It's nothing compared to the money they make. Justice should be seen to be done. In this case I don't think so. The needs of capitalism have overridden justice.
Two residents, Anne-Marie Scott and Janet Stobart, who were in court, said they were also disappointed with the result.
Anne-Marie said: "I can't believe they were fined so little when the maximum for each offence was £20,000. You could see the owner was quite shocked it had got this far but how happy they all were when they left the court, thinking they had got off lightly.
"The noise is better at night, not that constant roar, but there is constant noise during the day so the garden experience is ruined. Mentally it's so stressful."
Janet added: "I am disappointed the court wasn't more authoritative and told them to stop the noise. It's better than it was, but there is still a continuous hum at night and weekends when you expect it not to be there."
Councillor Ranjit Dheer, cabinet member for community services and safety, said: “This is a good result for the council and a clear warning to any company that thinks it can cause a persistent disturbance to its neighbours. MacGills behaved disgracefully to the people living close by and showed a blatant disregard for them.
“I’d like to thank all of the local residents who complained about this company and helped us to gather the evidence we needed to bring them to court.”
The firm refused to comment and said we should contact their solicitors, who's office was shut for training. An email was sent to their solicitors' office.