Takeaway served with £7,000 legal bill after noisy extractor fan made neighbour’s life a misery - The Rugby Observer

Takeaway served with £7,000 legal bill after noisy extractor fan made neighbour’s life a misery

Rugby Editorial 25th Jan, 2024   0

A CHINESE takeaway in Rugby has been served with a legal bill of more than £7,000 after a noisy extractor fan made a neighbour’s life a misery.

Environmental health officers from Rugby Borough Council (RBC) first visited one of the flats above the May Flower takeaway in Blackwood Avenue in May 2022 after the occupier complained about the noise of the takeaway’s large extractor fan, which was fitted to an outside wall of the building.

Officers found some of the fan’s mounts had been fixed directly to the wall with no anti-vibration measures and, during the inspection, the officers felt the fan vibrating and emitting a droning noise.

Inside the neighbour’s flat, officers took readings which indicated the fan was causing sufficient noise to disrupt sleeping, relaxing and working from home.

A device which measures noise and vibration was installed in the flat, and the operator of the May Flower, Mrs Hua Lin, was told about the noise problem and served with a warning letter.

Mrs Lin arranged for work to be carried out, but the noise and vibrations increased.

Officers served an abatement notice on Lin in August 2022, requiring her to take further steps to stop the noise.

But despite further work being carried out on the fan, the noise problems persisted and Lin admitted to officers she had failed to employ a competent engineer.

After receiving further complaints from the neighbour in February and March 2023, officers again spoke with Lin and reminded her of the need to comply with the abatement notice or risk prosecution.

At Coventry Magistrates’ Court, Lin was found guilty in her absence of failing to comply with the abatement notice.

Magistrates heard the simplest solution to the noise created by the extractor fan – fitting anti-vibration measures to the top mounts – should be straightforward and relatively cheap.

The court was also told the neighbour worked from home and had lived with the noise for nearly ten hours a day, six days a week.

Lin was fined £880 for failing to comply with the abatement notice, and was ordered to pay a £352 victim surcharge and the council’s full costs of £6,327.

Speaking after the hearing, Coun Derek Poole, RBC’s leader and spokesman for regulation and safety, said: “Persistent noise nuisance can negatively impact the lives of neighbours and our environmental health team always endeavours to work with residents and businesses to find an amicable solution.

“However, in extreme cases where individuals choose to ignore abatement notices, we have no choice but to prosecute in the courts.”

Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/noise to make complaints about noise nuisance.

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