Noise Complaint Against Warrington Council Upheld

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 1:05pm

By By: Aran Dhillon - Local Democracy Reporter

The resident, referred to as Mr X, highlighted concerns over noise coming from properties next to his mid-terrace house in Penketh, since 2007.

A complaint against Warrington council has been upheld after it failed to respond properly to a resident’s complaints about noise disturbance from neighbouring properties.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman – an independent body which investigates complaints about councils and adult social care providers across the country – has found that the authority was at fault for failing to follow up on recommendations.

The resident, referred to as Mr X, highlighted concerns over noise coming from properties next to his mid-terrace house in Penketh, since 2007.

He says he ‘suffered hugely’ after putting up with unreasonable levels of noise transferring from the homes due to a lack of sufficient sound insulation between them.

Mr X rented the house from the council in 2006 and bought it in 2007 under the Right to Buy scheme.

Golden Gates Housing Trust owns the neighbouring properties.

The council was responsible for the fabric of the properties neighbouring Mr X’s home until 2010.

Sound insulation work carried out by the arms length management organisation (ALMO) in November 2008 was completed on behalf of the authority.

The noise monitoring carried out by the borough’s environmental protection service showed the sound insulation needed to be checked.

But the Ombudsman said it has seen no evidence that the council followed up its recommendation to the ALMO to do this.

In the decision notice, it said: “The failure of the council to follow up in 2009 is fault.

“The council now accepts it should have referred Mr X’s noise complaints to its housing standards and options service before May 2017.

“I would expect the council to have done this once it realised it was dealing with a continuing noise problem relating to structural problems.

“I accept that Mr X’s health has deteriorated over the period under investigation.

“The council’s failure to follow up its original recommendations in 2009 and its failure to use the housing health and safety rating system sooner may have contributed some extra uncertainty for Mr X.

“But I cannot say the council’s fault has directly caused Mr X’s ill health.

“I consider the council’s part in completing the current conversion project is a satisfactory remedy for any injustice caused to Mr X by the council’s fault.”

A resident, who lives in the area and is aware of the situation, has slammed the council.

The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I am absolutely disgusted at how the council has treated the resident.”

The authority says it has liaised fully with the Ombudsman throughout the investigation and accepts the findings of the report.

A spokeswoman added: “We will be taking steps to address these issues and are working closely with all parties, including the housing association, to improve the situation for the resident through planned conversion works.”

The road address has not been publicised by the authority, or the resident aware of the situation, as it is not in the public domain and ‘could identify the individual’.

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