06 November 2005

06 November 2005

Hospital noise is so unf-air

A PRIVATE hospital could be fined up to £20,000 for disturbing its neighbours with noisy air conditioning.

Blackheath Hospital has allegedly breached two of the conditions imposed on it by Lewisham council's planning committee, which gave permission on September 15 for a small building to be added to the hospital.

The conditions were that work should not take place beyond 8am-6pm on weekdays and Saturday mornings, and that noise levels were kept down.

But residents have complained to councillors about the ongoing racket from the air conditioning and builders working unauthorised hours.

An enforcement notice was issued on Thursday last week and if the hospital does not act on it, the battle could go to court and result in a £20,000 fine.

Blackheath ward councillor Andrew Brown said: "The noise is driving residents up the wall." Read in depth details from Andrew by clicking.

The hospital has 69 en-suite rooms and three operating theatres.

Blackheath councillor and deputy mayor Gavin Moore said: "The planning process is sacrosanct and we have no confidence that Blackheath Hospital is respecting the process properly."

A spokeswoman for the hospital said the chiller equipment making the noise was "essential to avoid damage to the MRI machine" in the new diagnostic suite.

She added an acoustic screen had been installed to minimise sound.

"We accept preliminary work started before planning consent and have apologised," said the spokeswoman.

She added work or visits outside of hours were not related to this project.

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