Romford Church in row over drumming noise could face prosecution
10:21 17 August 2012
»A church could face prosecution after appearing to ignore a council abatement notice to keep the noise down.
People living near the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Jubilee House in Main Road, Romford say they are being kept awake by drumming.
One resident said: “I can’t enjoy my living room and bedroom because all I hear is the constant drumming – it is just making my life hell.”
Havering Council served an abatement notice on the church in March after it was inundated with complaints from residents about the noise.
The church has also been issued with a notice for breaching a planning condition.
It was given the go-ahead to change the former office building into a place of worship in 2010 after winning an appeal against the council which had originally refused the proposals.
Despite the appeal, the council imposed conditions which included no amplified music or drums to be played on the site, unless details were submitted and agreed by the council.
Nearby residents claim that the noise is particularly worse during the evenings and on Sundays.
They claim it is so bad that they can’t use communal gardens because all they can hear is drum noise.
Pastor at the church Mary Afolabi said: “We are a church for people with special needs and everyone knows that people with special needs love music.
“How can you have a church without drumming?”
She added: “It’s not fair. We have been here years and have done everything the council has asked us to do and we do so much for the community, but people don’t seem to want to know all the good things that we do.”
Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing and public protection, said: “We have had a number of complaints regarding noise nuisance and have tried to resolve the problem informally.
“Unfortunately, the church has not co-operated or reduced noise levels.
“In light of further problems and no co-operation from the church, an abatement notice in respect of noise nuisance was served in March 2012.
“Residents nearby have again experienced unacceptable levels of noise from the church.
“We are now seeking further evidence before we take formal action and seize the equipment responsible or prosecute.”