Contractors McGee working for American private equity firm Westbrook Partners apologised to local residents after they ignored environmental protection regulations to erect a crane on a street in Fitzrovia overnight denying local people the chance to sleep.
Residents contacted Fitzrovia News after they endured a noisy weekend where operators of huge vehicles ran diesel engines for hours on end as a crane was installed on a construction site in Tottenham Street over the weekend of 18 and 19 January.
McGee blamed delays in getting equipment onto the site but residents were angry that work carried on until the early hours of the morning.
People living in Goodge Place, Tottenham Street, and Tottenham Mews were kept awake on Saturday night and past 4am on the following Sunday night into Monday morning at the start of this week.
Despite the promise of considerate construction and commitments not to run engines when idle McGee staff carried on regardless with contempt for local residents and environmental protection regulations. When asked to stop working, they refused and carried on.
While it is normal for cranes to be installed on a weekend, contractors are supposed to keep residents informed of work through regular contact and act with consideration and get work done in the daytime hours.
McGee say they contacted residents at the last minute after getting emergency permission from Camden Council.
“We apologise for any inconvenience and disturbance caused to local residents as a result of our recent planned out-of-hours works at Arthur Stanley House. Due to unforeseen circumstances on the day, the activity on Tottenham Street overran, requiring McGee to request an emergency dispensation from Camden Council to continue working through the night to ensure the works were completed safely,” said a spokesperson for the noisy contractor.
“Prior to the works taking place, McGee, along with our crane erection subcontractor, distributed leaflets and email updates to near neighbours to make sure residents and businesses were aware of the temporary road closure and planned works. Posters and notices were also placed on our hoarding outside the site,” they said.
But residents told Fitzrovia News that there had been no contact and no leaflets warning of the late works. When Fitzrovia News investigated we found no evidence that McGee had issued notice and their community notice board was three months out of date. McGee were clearly acting like chancers and trying to fob off the locals.
Camden Council officers told us: “We will issue a formal warning reminding the company of the requirement to liaise effectively with residents in the future and provide evidence of this to the planning obligation team in good time.
“In addition, the Council is currently investigating whether the works carried out on that night were conducted outside of the agreed hours. Appropriate enforcement action may be taken should this be the case,” said council officers.
McGee are working for Westbrook Partners who are redeveloping the former hospital building to create mostly offices with some flats for sale on the open market and two homes for social rent.