I have a first floor flat above a commercial premises. The business below is a pizza takeaway with a rear yard that extends out the back of the building, within which the business parks their delivery mopeds etc.
The noise comes from the businesses extractor fans and refrigeration units. They run intermittently throughout the night and are unfortunately situated directly below the bedroom in our property. As the noise is partly vibration-based, I am having trouble getting the council to either witness the noise or categorise it as a nuisance. It is however preventing sleep and has been for a year now, since we moved in.
When we moved in, I spent a considerable amount laying down heavy insulating fabric underneath a new floor, but with little effect. The main exhaust vent is routed up the side of my property, adjacent to the window in the bedroom. The council have visited at night and do not agree that the vibration is a nuisance, despite the fact that you can feel the vibration coming though the floor, the wall and thus the bed when one lies down. It audibly vibrates the radiator on the wall.
Do you have any advice about my next move? Can I commission an independent assessor? Where to find a reputable one? Can I take the business to court? The council have left a recording device with me for a week before and it did record a difference in noise levels when the main extractor was on (between am and 1am usually) but did not pick up the supplementary noise generated but the fridges and cooling units.
You say that they don’t think it is a nuisance. Go through their internal complaints procedure and make sure they come at night-time to assess when it is it’s most troublesome. Request that they make an acoustic assessment – this can be done quite easily and compared to national standards.
Are there any obvious defects to the construction of the system? Examine the extract ducting on the outside – how is it attached to the wall? Does it include anti-vibration mountings and suitable brackets, for example?
Is the takeaway a franchise? Have you given the operating company a chance to put it right yet (formally in writing)? You would need to do this first if you are going to pursue a private case.
You can have the noise assessed independently – an acoustic consultant will do that (for a price). If the assessment contradicts the opinon of the Council (i.e. they say that it is a statutory nuisance) you can take your own action (s.82) and, if successful, recover your costs. This may be the best form of action under the circumstances.