Thursday, 2 December 2010

Demolition Assistance from Tower Hamlets Environmental Health Team

Yesterday MERA learned two things

1.  Tower Hamlets needs to protect buildings in Conservation areas as well as design!

First, Tower Hamlets Planning needs to address a major deficit in its practices in relation to protecting Conservation Areas.
Unfortunately the approved construction management plan (condition 5) of the planning permission granted does not have control over the effects of vibration and potential for damage to neighbouring properties resulting from the demolition process. You are correct in taking the matter up with environmental health.
It would seem that Planning is more interested in the design impact rather than whether the buildings are maintained in good order while demolition and construction takes place!

Some questions:
  • What on earth is the point of Tower Hamlets Council having a Conservation Policy for its heritage if buildings are going to be shaken severely due to very poor demolition practice by the contractor?
  • WHY does the Construction Management Plan not offer adequate protection to nearby buildings in a Conservation Area?
  • WHY does the permission for demolition affecting buildings in a Conservation Area not have planning conditions which outlaw the type of adverse outcomes which result from poor demolition practice?
  • What's the point of having a Council planning function if developers can do what they like?
2.  Tower Hamlets Environmental Health continue to be very helpful!

The Health and Environment Team personnel which MERA spoke to yesterday were very helpful in providing support for the local residents and the Mile End Residents Association.

Environmental Health officers continue to assist with the very poor practices being adopted by the demolition contractors employed by Telford Homes (see Demolition starts - and so do breaches of controls for an earlier example of poor practice)
  • The Telford Homes Construction Director was contacted very quickly and the problem explained.  MERA understands he was planning to make a visit to ensure there were no repeat offences.
  • Vibration machines have been offered to homes in block severely affected by the impact vibration from demolition on the Brokesley Street site in order to the record the extent of the impact vibration should it continue
To date, demolition practice seems to have improved and there has been no reasons to contact Environmental Health to make an appointment for the installation of the vibration machines.

We hope by now that both Telford Homes and the Construction contractors have learned that MERA will not put up with any poor practices when demolition is occurring.

Should poor practice continue in relation to demolition practices MERA will again be contacting the Health and Safety Executive (London - Construction sites).

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