239 Rainham apartments given go-ahead by Havering Council

PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:49 22 July 2020

Rainham Steel fears that a new development of 239 flats could cause it to close down, without any government reimbursment. Picture: Richard Carr

Rainham Steel fears that a new development of 239 flats could cause it to close down, without any government reimbursment. Picture: Richard Carr

Richard Carr

After three deferrals, outline planning permission for 239 new homes in Rainham has been granted by the council.

Since the first plans were submitted in 2017, the application has been vehemently fought against due to fears of noise pollution, by nearby industrial companies.

A visit to the site on the south side of New Road Rainham took place on March 16.

Now that outline permission has been approved, it will go the second stage to seek approval from Greater London Authority (GLA).

The key objector, managing director of Rainham Steel Richard Carr, said noise pollution from the nearby steel works means it is not a suitable residential location and that the potential noise disturbance complaints could put the business under threat.

He said the latest review “ignores the fact that we work 24 hours a day seven days a week” and that the applicant is adamant that the noise issue can be mitigated.

He said: “The fact that so much mitigation has already been proposed to allow residents to be able to live here is proof that complaints are very likely, if not guaranteed. We’ve been here for 40 years and this area has always been industrial, it’s absolutely wrong that we should be subjected to a sensitive-use build next to us without any protection against following complaints.”

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Jason Swan, partner at Sandy Brown Associates, consultants in acoustics, noise and vibration, said: “We’ve helped deliver several successful residential schemes in similarly noisy locations. Resulting average noise levels are considerably better than required.

“Rainham Steel would have to increase their noise levels by eight or nine decibels, nearly doubling the noise levels before these criteria [for acceptable noise levels for residential areas] would be exceeded.

“If they operated at night as well as day the noise would increase only by six decibels and this still would not exceed the limit. These performances requirements can be achieved with traditional construction methods although in some areas high performance acoustic glazing will be necessary.”

He added that neither would outdoors areas of the site exceed the British Standard Guidance but higher parts of the building could do, “which is not uncommon in London”.

Mr Swan said: “With appropriate acoustic design alongside suitable ventilation and overheating controls good conditions have be achieved both internally and externally.”

Councillor Reg Whitney stressed that the council had a “particular interest” in the application and was trying hard to push it through.

He said: “These places are not fit for purpose, we’ve had similar applications with less noise that have not been approved.”

But Councillor Timothy Ryan said the houses could actually “regenerate” the area, especially now with film studios being granted planning permission nearby in Dagenham which could create a need for housing in the area.

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