Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Alarming Tower Hamlets Council Offices in Southern Grove

Residents living around the empty Tower Hamlets Council offices in Southern Grove will be well aware that the office alarm has been ringing incessantly for hours on end on quite a few occasions of late.  On one weekend recently it rang for 30 hours non-stop.

Despite representations from both MERA and local councillors and assurances from the Council that the problem has been identified and addressed the alarm continues to ring at night for hours on end. 

Last night the alarm rang from midnight until 2.45am and the Council's noise abatement service refused to do anything about it.

So one of the residents of Brokesley Street has decided to take matters further - and has given us permission to reproduce the email that was sent - at 2.58am this morning - below. 
Dear Sirs,

I am writing regarding the persistent noise nuisance caused by the intruder alarm at the council's premises on Southern Grove, which constitutes a nuisance actionable in tort

I am writing in my capacity as owner occupier of (number) Brokesley Street, E3 4QJ.

At the time of writing the alarm has been sounding continuously for over two hours, and sounds for at least this period during unsocial hours at least once per week, and once sounded for a single period exceeding 30 hours over a weekend.

I understand that the Tower Hamlets Noise Abatement Team will not investigate or take action with respect to this nuisance on the basis that it is caused by a council property.

Please be advised that the general law is not subject to any such limitation.  Unless the nuisance identified above is addressed in the near and long term to my satisfaction, I will apply for an injunction requiring the Southern Grove intruder alarm to be deactivated and reserve my rights in any event to bring proceedings against the Tower Hamlets for damages for nuisance.

I trust this matter will receive your immediate attention.

Yours faithfully
(name of resident living in Brokesley Street)
The Mile End Residents Association are also today making an official complaint to the Council about the alarm and its impact on the people living in properties either side of Southern Grove. 

Do please comment below if you have also been disturbed by the alarm.

We'll keep you in touch with what happens next...........


  1. Hi, I've written to officers AGAIN asking for answers, and suggest that a way of raising the profile of this issue might be to do a petition to full council, which I'd be happy to help with if that's what residents want to do.

    I think the best thing to ask for is for the fire alarm system itself to be changed, as it is clearly causing a major nusiance.

    Cllr Rachael Saunders

  2. Thanks for the offer of help - and for the pressure you have been trying to bring to bear on this issue to date

    As you will eb aware, we've been raising lots of petitions in relation to the planning application and the licensing application of late so we're happy we know how to do those. If you'd like to identify who is the best person to receive the petition we would of course appreciate that information.

    However our local resident in Brokesley Street seems to think that maybe legal action will get action faster and he may of course be right.

    Our overwhelming concern is that the Council takes effective and permanent action FAST before more residents have their sleep disturbed.

    What the Council is doing at present - in not fixing the alarm and not attending to the noise nuisance - is illegal.

    We'll be submitting the complaint as a stage 2 to the Council today. I hope this matter is fixed before we need to start raising the matter with the Local Government Ombudsman.

  3. Our resident copied his email written shortly before 3am this morning to the new Chief executive of tower Hamlets Council - Kevan Collins

    He's now had an acknowledgement of his letter so we're now hopeful a permanent 'fix' will be put in place before anybody loses another night's sleep.

  4. Sorry I've only just seen a reply to me here.

    I've been told that the fire alarm system has now been replaced so the half hour of noise heard at 7am on the 30th November should be the last of it - I hope so.

    Regarding petitions to full council - email, head of Democratic Services, for formal advice on how to do it, and feel free to give me a ring informally, 07799 417580


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