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Marylebone pub loses thousands due to noisy builders

PUBLISHED: 15:29 20 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:05 07 September 2010

DEAFENING building work on a new electricity sub-station being erected by Transport for London (TfL) has lost a popular pub near Edgware Road more than £5,000 in business, its furious landlord has claimed. Lakis Hondrogiannis, who runs The Chapel pub oppo

DEAFENING building work on a new electricity sub-station being erected by Transport for London (TfL) has lost a popular pub near Edgware Road more than £5,000 in business, its furious landlord has claimed.

Lakis Hondrogiannis, who runs The Chapel pub opposite the site on Chapel Street, said the problems started at the beginning of July when construction workers began driving scores of steel foundations, known as piling, into the ground to support the planned structure.

He said the vibrations were so strong that at times it was like being at the centre of an earthquake and the levels of noise made it impossible for his customers to hear themselves speak.

"The noise was unbelievable," Mr Hondrogiannis said. "One week it was so noisy I couldn't hear what customers were saying on the other side of the bar.

"My lunchtime business has gone down about 10 to 15 per cent. People would come in, look at board for food, then hear the noise and say we can't stay here."

Verlanty Yousif, a manager at Darker Estates property agents on nearby Old Marylebone Road, experienced similar problems.

"We couldn't even talk on the phone and it wasn't just us," she said. "All the shops around here were saying 'what are they doing over there?' It's been a nightmare."

Another problematic effect of the vibrations was to cause cracks in the road, which local residents said TfL have failed to repair even though they have narrowed the space for traffic due to the cones placed around the broken tarmac.

Steven Marsden, who lives at Hyde Park Mansions on Chapel Street, said: "I'm a cyclist and it's incredibly dangerous cycling down here now. What they should do is stop what they're doing and resurface the road."

Mr Hondrogiannis said he reported the disruption being caused by the ongoing works to Westminster Council and was told by members of its noise team who visited his pub that workers on the site would be asked to take a two-hour break to give his pub some relief. But despite these promises, he said the noise continued unabated between 8am and 6pm until last week when the first phase of the piling was completed.

However, Mr Hondrogiannis says he was informed on Monday that the piling will start up again next week.

TfL, which commissioned the building of the sub-station to power its new air-conditioned tube trains, defended the project.

A spokesman said: "The noise from the piling required for the substation's construction is being monitored and is below the levels we agreed with Westminster Council. However, we are keen to do all we can to minimise disruption and our contractors are in close contact with local people and businesses to see if any further measures can be taken to reduce noise. We will investigate any complaints of damage to the nearby road or property and will remedy any problems that are found to be related to the work being carried out."

And a spokeswoman for Westminster Council said there were no records that Mr Hondrogiannis had contacted the noise team.

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