The £344M expansion of London City Airport has been given the green light from Ministers, leading to residents growing increasingly distressed at the prospect of further noise pollution in a City where peace and quiet are a hard won luxury.
Flight paths leaving from densely populated Newham already cover large parts of North East and South London, and bring with them unwelcome levels of noise pollution. The risks these disturbances carry – including stress and weight problems – are well documented. Many residents living under flight paths feel that the noise is adversely affecting their wellbeing, with flights already leaving in the early morning.
The Government has said the airport will provide a “generous” compensation package to local residents affected by increased air traffic. With 80,000 flights a year set to increase by 30,000 any and all help will be appreciated at a time when people have never been more conscious of how environmental factors impact on their daily lives.
The World Health Organisation recommends that noise levels should be less than 35db in classrooms to allow good teaching and learning conditions and under 40db outside of a bedroom overnight to prevent adverse health effects from night noise. Yet residents working alongside University College London have measured decibel readings more than double safe levels. Which should be a serious concern for local residents.
For large parts of the City, the reality will be an increase in noise, one of the stressors that can keep them from enjoying the comfortable home life they strive for.
The immediate area can expect investment in infrastructure, roads and buses, which should offset some of the damage to road surfaces that a high frequency of lorries and machinery will inevitably bring. What is harder to account for is the very real costs that residents will face from the noise pollution this work and traffic will cause until work finishes, on current estimates in 2019.
It is worth remembering that noise accounts for most of the complaints that local councils and the Environment Agency receive about environmental pollution, and is a major source of stress. While best practical means to reduce noise will be implemented during work, as always the reality will be disturbances for residents of the area, with noisy works starting at 8am and traffic increasing before this time.
Long term effects will be more extensive as much of the North East of London can expect a significant increase in flight volume with a decreased quality in sleep.
We are currently offering free consultations for clients in the area who are likely to be affected by the airport expansion. If that’s you, get in touch and let’s book you in!