Dario Goodwin, Ellie Ormsby and Ryan Jude
Dario Goodwin, Ellie Ormsby and Ryan Jude

Under a recent Freedom of Information request, Lancaster Gate Labour Candidate, Ellie Ormsby, has discovered over the past year Westminster Council has granted the Whiteley developers, Laing O’Rourke, near daily permissions to operate beyond their agreed working hours (8am-6pm weekdays, 8am-1pm Saturdays only).

Out of the 76 applications to work beyond their core hours sent to the Council last year, not a single one was rejected. With each single application often covering a period of days, if not weeks, in 2021 the developer had permission to work beyond the agreed working hours on over 300 days.

This has effectively rendered the permitted working hours agreement redundant with deliveries starting at 6:30am and in extreme cases works permitted to go on until 11pm. With near constant noise from industrial machinery and vibrations from the incoming heavy vehicles, this has rendered residents lives a misery and homes unliveable.

A calendar showing all days requests were granted for
A calendar showing all days requests were granted for

This disregard for protecting quality of life for residents is symptomatic of a Conservative administration which prioritises powerful developers over ordinary local people. We recognise there are legitimate reasons for extending working hours, however extensions to working hours should be there to cope with exceptional circumstances only and not be used on a near daily basis.

Labour would put residents first and enforce the permitted working hours baring truly exceptional circumstances. With the potential for this development to last years, we urge the Council to revise their approach and take more robust action.

Ellie Ormsby, Labour Candidate for Lancaster Gate said:

“The noise and disruption from this development has been awful for local residents in Lancaster Gate, not to mention the pollution and dust. Residents were promised window cleaning over a year ago as compensation for the damage by the developers, but this has yet to materialise. Local people deserve better.”

Councillor Maggie Carman, Labour Councillor for Bayswater, said:

“During the previous phase of drilling out, residents from across Bayswater told me how their lives were made a misery by months of unbearable noise and vibrations.  The response to our complaints was to ban us from resident engagement meetings.”

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