I have just had a telephone call from CORY DEFOE. Dalston Town Centre Manager who is responsible for these musical devises in the Square. He says that he has asked his team to seek an immediate way dampen the noise with some temporary measures for tonight. He has also asked the manufacturers to install a locking mechanism to stop the noise as soon as possible . This we are told should be done 'by the end of the week' ( I know many will want it done sooner!)
I understand that this plan will not address the concerns of many residents who feel the musical devices need to be removed completely and replaced with something more appropriate for the location. The DSRA will seek to pursue this matter. Please keep the thread coming. Any positive ideas beyond their total removal?
Good to see they're sorting this out. Sure the dampening will get a good test Saturday night!
I can't think of much to help retain the equipment. The chimes aren't too bad but they'd need some hefty security to stop people using them late at night. And the other equipment is just annoying, not exactly a relaxing or musical sound....
Really got to ask why you'd put noise generating play equipment in a residential square to start with - wouldn't something more visual or active be better? Whatever gets installed will probably be abused late at night so guess this is something else the Council need to consider, shouldn't they normally do some public consultation on this type of stuff?!
Another thought was if the flats have adequate sound proofing - ours seems to let majority of outside noise in but guess that's down to Barratts Homes.
Thanks for this, Ben. As a parent myself I think it's great to have a playground on the square, but I think that there is simply no place for musical instruments. The layout of the square and the poor sound proofing of the flats make DSQ completely unsuitable for such features. Although I know I am repeating myself, I just cannot fathom anyone even considering such instruments on a residential square. In any case, I think that Hackney should take the bold decision to remove them immediately, I can guarantee that the noise complaints will continue to come and because of that they eventually have to get rid of them anyway. I am sure that Hackney can redistribute them to one of the many parks.
Glad to see that the issue is taken serious. We actually hear nothing from the outside now, which is such a relief! But when I arrived at home this evening I watched kids that kept jumping hard enough to still get loud sounds out of the chimes. But as I understand this is just the temporary solution.
As for the future I can only repeat that the instruments should be moved to a big park. It would be a shame to now irreversible break them to turn down the volume and have someone lock and unlock the playground on a daily basis - just to find out that all the neighbours will still get annoyed.
Please do not only think about the sleeping hours. What about children at home needing their afternoon nap, people staying home sick to recover, people working from home and everyone that wants to enjoy the weekend afternoons on their balcony.
Seriously, who do I need to call/email to make the noise stop? I live in Gaumont Tower and this weekend has been a nightmare. I've also been woken up every night since the play area has been opened (by people jumping all over it on their way home from a night out). It's the most stupid and destructive idea I've ever come across. I used to love sitting on our balcony. Now I can't even stand to be in the flat.
Thanks to Ben and Mark for being on the case with this. I can't see a positive way to integrate these items and, being a musician, I'm all up for kids being creative. Unfortunately Hackney Council seems to have put the common sense handbook to one side here, these items would be great in Victoria Park or other large spaces with no residential impact (even then it would probably still ruin your picnic). Also the tones that the apparatus creates are monotonous and limited making the constant drone we've enjoyed all weekend a really tedious experience.
I think replacing the items with non musical apparatus would be ideal if, indeed, it can be done. Reading earlier posts it seems as though this maybe be a problem.
Please contact the Council if you are experiencing the same issues as many of us here in Dalston Square.
Ben - Thank you for your efforts but the only solution, positive or negative, is for the noise elements to be removed entirely. It's not acceptable for people to have to put up with constant hooting noise even if it's just during the day. I appreciate you are in the middle of this all.
The temporary measure (a piece of plastic that the kids just remove) is hopeless. I hope i'm not coming across as moaning for the sake of it, I just don't want the council to think they've solved the problem and forget about it.
There are 2 guys working on the playground right now, I have just spoken to them. The see saw things have had the volume turned down. The 2 blocks of pads cannot be turned down. The 3 pull down things they are still working on. It is worth mentioning that whilst I was in the playground every adult/parent also used the noisy equipment. Obviously the noise is louder when they use it because they are stronger/heavier.
So does anyone know what the Council are doing now? The measures so far haven't really helped and I'm expecting another disrupted bank holiday weekend.
I raised a noise pollution disturbance back two Sunday's ago (11th) when it first opened - haven't had a response and when I called they said they couldn't tell me anything and I just have to wait at least 10 working days. Anyone spoken to Cory since they change the equipment?
Will the Council remove/fence off this equipment or just wait a few more weeks to see if we stop complaining?
I have news! Cory Defoe sent us an email late yesterday afternoon with the following update:
The manufacturers visited site on Monday and reduced the levels on the wind pipes and wind pumps. Unfortunately this does not seem to have solved the problem because I received a complaint the very next day. I have decommissioned the wind pumps on a permanent basis and monitoring the wind pipes; however it is likely that this will also need to be decommissioned. Khadine Jackson (Noise Officer, Community Safety Team) has agreed to monitor the noise from an apartment on the square over the weekend and will advise on what steps to take on the wind pipes. You will have noticed that we have put another cover over the dance chimes in addition to the cover we previously installed.
Looking longer term, I have instructed Timber Play to review the consultation responses and propose a number of alternative play apparatus that could replace all three which are deemed a nuisance. When I receive the options I will consult with the residents and collectively we can decide on the most suitable option. I need to reiterate that any option we decide on will need to go through the planning process.
Please keep me posted if the play equipment in its current form is still a problem and I will keep you informed of the situation as things progress.
That about covers it all I think. It seems a little more patience will be needed while things progress but the wheels do seem to be turning. Such a shame, for the kids, residents, and the tax payer (what a waste of valuable council funds) that so little thought was apparently given with regard what apparatus to install. Oh well.
The measures are totally inadequate, they've made virtually no difference, if anything it's worse now as the late night revellers have to jump harder to make the noise. Barely a night goes by that we're not woken up by people making noises on the instruments, it is ridiculous. we've tried earplugs, leaving our Windows shut but then we are boiling on hot nights, residents shouldn't have to go through this. In the day the noise is incessant, we dread going back to our flat. You can't sit on the balcony reading, it's a constant torment. We keep all our Windows shut to try to block it out. I hope the planning process for the changes don't drag on as it means we'll have a whole summer of this. Who thought this was a good idea? Surely common sense would tell you musical instruments open for all to use at whatever time between high rise residential buildings are not a good idea!
Yesterday night was intolerable again. I am still not nearly satisfied with the result of the measures. Only the complete removal of all instruments is the solution. Even after a month or so we can not blank out the noise. We try to leave music on during the day but why should I as a resident tolerate that? I totally agree with the previous writer that the new measures made it partly worse. People try to jump even harder on the instruments which gives it a notion of aggression. I have to say that my personal level of calmness is suffering every day.