Building houses close to noisy areas, and killing those areas off

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Giugiaro, 24 Aug 2019.

  1. Giugiaro

    Giugiaro Member

    4 Nov 2011
    Valongo - Portugal
    I'm confused to how common it seems for this kind of situation to happen.

    First, an area far off from an urban area is used to build an industrial area, racetrack or other noisy activity.
    It then works for years becoming one of the most fundamental pieces for the local/national economy, transportation link, or a famous touristic/historical site.
    Then, out of nowhere, houses are built close to the area in question and people move in.
    After a while, complaints for noise are filled, getting those places shutdown or severely limited, killing of the activity in question.

    60 year old Laguna Seca Raceway got a 90dB sound limit imposed.
    Campolide Workshops can't work overnight now that urbanization has swallowed the railyard, and complaints have already been filed against the Fertagus's Coina Workshops.
    One of the biggest industries on my local area was trialled for noise once urbanisation was set 20 years after the factory started working and the people complaining wanted the place to be shut down!
    Heathrow has long been having issues over noise complaints. Gatwick already has the same issue.

    I don't understand why people insist on building real estate, and then buying and living, in these places. Almost no one on those houses work or have any particular connection to the local industry/site, and somehow are still capable of complaining of something they should be aware of when they decided to move in.

    It's such a **** move, and has cost the existence or several things like major industries, workshops and railyards, racetracks, railway lines, motorways, airports, seaports, powerplants and others...
    Last edited: 24 Aug 2019
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  3. bramling

    bramling Established Member

    5 Mar 2012
    Hertfordshire / Teesdale
    With rising population there will be more of this as there is increasing desperation for space to construct dwellings. Next to a railway line I know there’s a massive development going up on a former industrial site. Certainly there was some comment on the lines of wouldn’t it be nice to put a couple of whistle boards up.
  4. J-2739

    J-2739 Established Member

    30 Jul 2016
    Using Heathrow as an example, doesn't much of the housing close by predate the rapid growth of movements and passengers?
  5. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

    21 Apr 2013
    Going by a quick look at NLS maps, when Heathrow was first proposed during WW2 Hounslow was built up, but housing in the area between there and the airport post-dated it. It's fairly well known that Heathrow was created using wartime powers but with the full intention of it becoming a civilian airport after the war, so the people nearby had very little say in the matter. I wonder if this is the root cause of some of the mistrust of that and later airport developments.
  6. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

    12 Sep 2013
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Heathrow was built after many of the houses that it affects, and certainly the expansion in recent years post-dates many of the people in the area.

    And I have similar experience in Newcastle buying a house not under a flight path, before the flight path was promptly changed.

    That said, some of the noise abatement stuff is ridiculous. What happened at Castle Combe, for instance, was nothing short of disgusting.
  7. Baxenden Bank

    Baxenden Bank Established Member

    23 Oct 2013
    The offence, of 'noise pollution', occurs immediately the activity starts. It's just that there are no prosecutions because no-one complains.

    When people move in nearby, they start to complain, then there may be a prosecution.

    Just because no-one complained for 'years' does not make the offence acceptable now. Think bears s*****g in the woods. They always do it but no-one sees them.

    The situation often occurs with music venues and nightclubs when hotels are built in town centres, or offices/upstairs of shops are converted into flats.

    The creator of the nuisance will be in the local media moaning about how hard done-by they are because of these new uppity residents 'why did they buy the house then' etc. No, you have always been a statutory nuisance, be grateful that you got away with it for so long, now please install some sound-proofing, keep the doors closed, turn the volume down, restrict your operating hours etc.

    Cocks crowing and cows mooing are a different matter. That is simply part and parcel of country life. If you move to the country, expect the smell of freshly spread manure every spring!
  8. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

    11 Nov 2015
    Of course, to restrict their operating hours will reduce profit making the business non viable leading to closure. Soundproofing for this type of noise pollution is massively expensive (for not the great results) which would lead to too much expense leading to closure. People find it difficult to enter and exit the buildings through closed doors, so the only option is to try their best with double sets of doors. This never works well for a busy venue so they will not achieve the necessary reduction in noise pollution leading to closure. Turning the volume down doesn’t necessarily reduce the noise pollution in remotely monitored places by a linear amount, it will also adversely affect the atmosphere within the venue leading to decreased appeal, decreased ticket sales and potentially leading to closure.

    One of the key bullet points here is that entertainment venues are closing left right and centre due to stricter licensing from local authorities based around noise. Its often the same people who go on to complain that the is no entertainment in the local area and that the local authority should do something about it.

    Of course, your point doesn’t actually fall in line with the concept laid out in the initial post. You’re talking about entertainment venues in already established areas be it domestic residences or businesses causing noise pollution. This is a serious problem and I agree that the venues need to take steps to minimise this (including those listed by yourself above where possible). The topic does however suggest that (to use the entertainment venue argument) the problem lies where a venue has been established and trading, successfully or otherwise for a significant period of time and then a housing development or office block is built nearby in which the residents or businesses complain about the noise from the venue that has been there for decades. This to me seems less fair on the owners of a venue when it ultimately closes down to satisfy people who bought a new house next to a well established live music venue.
    What’s more, much of the noise pollution from entertainment venue is caused by the customers, not the music. People outside in a smoking area talking, and of course inevitably when the venue closes at the end of the night the people walking home or to public transport are going to make noise. How can we minimise that? Just close the venue and have people travel further afield to see their favourite band instead.
    Last edited: 29 Aug 2019

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