Housing Association 'mislead' by contractors

Acton Housing respond to Benjamin House grievances

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An article regarding the plight of Benjamin House residents appears to have spurred Acton Housing Association and their contractors into action.

Benjamin House is part of a brownfield redevelopment situated on Acton’s busy High Street.  When residents began to move into the new build in February 2005, they immediately became aware of the unacceptable levels of noise pollution. 

Residents claim that Acton Housing Association (part of Dominion Housing the group responsible for the building), did not take this issue seriously and that no action was taken until their Chief Executive, Peter McCormack was informed.

In a letter to ActonW3.com, Peter McCormack states "Acton Housing Association makes every effort to ensure that our homes are built to the highest standards. We have great sympathy for the residents at Benjamin House and have already taken action to ensure that their concerns regarding noise insulation are dealt with as quickly as possible."

"Unfortunately, the Association was misled regarding the contractor’s compliance with the local council’s sound insulation conditions. We were only made aware of the situation in September 2005, six months after the building had been completed."

"We immediately instructed our agent to ensure that the contractor complied with his contractual obligations and have since agreed upon an action plan with all parties, including the residents, the local council, our contractors and an independent acoustic engineer. This includes further sound test monitoring and the formulation of a detailed mitigation strategy, with a view to start works within the next two months."

Steve Burgess, Director of Leadbitter Construction who were the contractors on Benjamin House, said “Leadbitter fully appreciate the seriousness of this problem and are totally committed to finding a solution which will ensure full compliance with the sound levels prescribed by the Local Authority at the time at which planning was granted for this scheme.”

However, according to paper work from Ealing Council, planning permission for the building was refused in May 2004 and no plans were re-submitted.  In a letter to Leadbitter Construction, Ealing Council stated that “no occupancy of the properties would be allowed before new planning permission was sought and granted in writing.”

Local Councillor Gary Malcolm has been to see some of the residents of Benjamin House.  He said "I met up with residents at the weekend to hear the problems they have suffered in the past year. There seems to have been severe failure and a 'bury their heads in the sand' attitude from Acton Housing Association and the developers. I have written to the Chief Executive of Acton Housing Association to push them into speedily rectifying the noise problems. I want to see the residents compensated fully. That's the least they deserve."


February 22, 2006