Noisy builders have been ordered to pay more than £9,000 for the nuisance that they caused at a Brighton construction site.
The offences drove neighbours to distraction as Watkin Jones and Son worked on the former Co-op building in London Road.
The company admitted four breaches of the Control of Pollution Act 1974 at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Friday 7 November). It was fined £1,500 for each offence.
The court also ordered Watkins Jones to pay costs of £3,500 to the Brighton and Hove City Council, which brought the case, and a victim surcharge of £120.
The company was convicted of two similar offences last year at the same site when it was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £2,900.
The company, of Llandegai Industrial Estate in Bangor, was not represented in court but a director acknowledged the summonses and indicated a guilty plea.
The council had imposed a condition that construction work be limited to between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
Yet residents, some with young children, have been disturbed by noise through weekends, early in the morning and late at night.
The noise has included lorries moving about late at night, the sound of nail guns and sawing all day Saturday, a generator running until 10pm, builders throwing items from the top floor of the new building down into a skip at ground level, skips being collected at 6.30am in the morning and forklift trucks continuously using reversing bleepers straight into a resident’s living room.
The council’s environmental protection team successfully prosecuted the company for causing a noise nuisance in November last year but it continued to cause problems.
It failed to respond to numerous letters and warnings from the council and ignored an agreement to minimise noise for residents and restrict the hours when construction work took place.
Council officers witnessed the noise outside working hours and responded to the many complaints of people living close to the site.
Councillor Pete West, the chairman of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said: “Large redevelopments such as this one should be carried out within reasonable hours and with consideration to people living nearby.
“This company has given residents no respite, with noise from the site seven days a week causing considerable stress and disturbance.
“We had no hesitation in taking legal action to protect residents and make sure the company, which agreed to control noise from the site, takes steps to do so.”
The site, at 94-103 London Road, Brighton, is being redeveloped as student accommodation.