Examination of Witnesses (Questions 5460
5460. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, I do have Mr
Taylor here to deal with noise. If the Committee would be assisted
by noise evidence I am more than happy to call him. I do not think
there is any disagreement about the assessments, and they are
set out in the report which is in your Lordships' pack.
5461. CHAIRMAN: I know. I am just wondering
if Ms Singleton has any questions about this.
5462. MS LIEVEN: Perhaps I should call
Mr Taylor. Then we can see whether anyone wants to ask questions.
5463. CHAIRMAN: Yes. Ms Singleton, Mr
Thornely-Taylor is a very substantial noise expert and he has
been giving evidence to us before. If you have questions about
noise, I am sure he will do his very best to answer them.
recalled Cross-examined by MS
5464. MS SINGLETON: Although there has
been a study and I have been given a very comprehensive document
about which buildings or flats would be affected by noise and
therefore which ones will get extra insulation, we have found
in Kempton Court that noise does shift around quite a lot. Noise
hardly heard in one part of the court seems to be absolutely exaggerated
in another part. For instance, there is some work going on at
the moment at the London Hospital, with banging on metal, and
you can walk around and hear it hardly at all in one part but
very loudly in another. I am wondering whether the noise studies
take this sort of thing into account.
The noise studies which were done for the Environmental Statement
of course could not know exactly which pieces of plant would be
used in exactly which location, and this process will be repeated
when the time comes for the contractor to make his application
for consent under section 61 of the Control of Pollution Act 1964.
In that process the method of predicting the noise levels will
be capable of taking into account precisely the pieces of plant
he intends and exactly the locations where they will be positioned
and, thereby, the effects of structures and buildings which have
a noise screening effect and to which Ms Singleton refers will
be taken into account. These very local effects of moving from
one place to another will come through in the predictions.
5465. CHAIRMAN: And also the reflection
of noise off walls in places where you otherwise would not expect
it to get.
Yes, my Lord Chairman. That is provided for in the prediction
5466. CHAIRMAN: It cannot be done now,
Ms Singleton, that is the trouble, but it will be. Is this right,
Mr Thornely-Taylor, it will be the basis of the insulation and
other mitigating measures that are going to be on offer when it
comes to the point?
That is right. The Environmental Statement gives an indication
of the likely extent of eligibility, and, indeed, it remains likely,
but when the time comes to go into more detail it is quite possible
that additional facades will become eligible according to the
precise methods of working that the contractors intend to use
when the time comes.
5467. MS SINGLETON: If, in fact, although
the predictions are quite accurate, there was an unexpected amount
of noise in one particular place, would it then be accepted that
that flat should have extra noise insulation?
(Mr Thornely-Taylor) The first thing I have
to say is should that happen, if it was due to an activity that
was not covered by the section 61 consent it is quite likely an
offence would have occurred because once a contractor has received
a consent, if he does something that is outside the description
of the methods of working that he has been given and have been
approved he has committed an offence. However, these things do
happen and the jails are not full of contractors. If there was
an event which caused a local noise problem, clearly investigations
into the reason for it would be carried out and whatever went
wrong would be put right.
5468. CHAIRMAN: That presumably is not
just a matter for the criminal courts, it is a matter for management,
is it not?
(Mr Thornely-Taylor) Of course. Indeed,
my Lord, there have been one or two major cases that have gone
to the courts, but in general it is a question of management by
the nominated undertaker as well as by the contractor himself
and by the local authority to make sure that the work is carried
out in the manner that has been approved.
5469. That would be set in motion by a complaint
to a one-stop shop?
(Mr Thornely-Taylor) I hope not. Monitoring
is a key part of management of environmental impacts in general
and noise and vibration in particular. We are only talking about
an event unforeseen, possibly of an accidental nature, which causes
a noise complaint and which could not reasonably have been foreseen.
Generally speaking, the success of the contractor in carrying
out the obligations placed on him is monitored through continuous
measurement of noise, continuous measurement of vibration. When
complaints occur, something unexpected has happened.
5470. MS SINGLETON: I have one other
question and I realise I did not mention it. I believe starting
next year there will be work on major shifting of utilities and
this will be particularly on the west side of Durward Street and,
as I understand, in Whitechapel Road itself. I am just wondering
what the noise levels would be for that and who would it particularly
(Mr Thornely-Taylor) The utilities works
have been assessed and they are subject to all the same considerations
that apply to the main works that I have been describing. They
tend to be of shorter duration, less major works, but, nevertheless,
the same processes I have described apply.
5471. MS SINGLETON: Thank you.
5472. CHAIRMAN: They all have the same
section 61 control, yes?
(Mr Thornely-Taylor) They do indeed, my
5473. LORD SNAPE: Mr Thornely-Taylor,
a clarification please with regard to the similarity or divergence
of noise and vibration. I used to live in a house and the block
was known as "Alhambra House" which was sitting above
the Northern Line. That was a 12-storey building on which it was
always expected we would have a lot of noise. We had hardly any
noise but an enormous amount of vibration. Fortunately, for the
rest of us it all ended up in Lord Archer's flat on the top and
the rest of us were left free of it, but it was extremely prevalent
up there. I am wondering whether the questions that have been
put to you draw sufficiently the distinction between the inconvenience
that may be caused by vibration rather than by noise here? The
concentration has been on noise and it might well appear, as we
had, it is more vibration without the noise.
(Mr Thornely-Taylor) The comments I have
just been making, my Lord, were of course directed at construction
impacts, hence my reference to vibration. I think your reference
to the Northern Line was to the operation of the Northern Line.
5474. It was because of a comment that was made
by Ms Singleton in her introductory remarks to the effect that
shafts were going down into an area of these stations and this
would lead to noise or vibration coming through but she has not
returned to that point, but I have remembered it from the outset.
(Mr Thornely-Taylor) Yes, it is quite
true that construction work for Crossrail at Whitechapel will
involve quite close proximity between the station tunnels and,
for example, the piles at Kempton Court. That is taken into account
in a process that will be carried out to predict operational noise
and vibration from the operating Crossrail railway in terms of
the levels received in the residential parts of Kempton Court.
If the levels which are set out in Information Paper D10 should
be predicted to be exceeded, then an enhanced form of track support
will be installed. We generally talk in terms of floating track
slab but there are other forms of enhanced vibration and noise
isolation for the operating railway, so there is no question of
significant effect occurring at this location but there may be
a requirement for an enhanced track form to ensure that.
5475. That will not become apparent until much
later in the process?
(Mr Thornely-Taylor) The detailed design
takes place later in the process, yes, my Lord.
5476. CHAIRMAN: Anything further?
5477. MS LIEVEN: No, my Lord.
5478. CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Thornely-Taylor.
I do not think I can have people from the back of the room wanting
to chip in at this stage. I am so sorry, who are you?
5479. MS PEDRETTI: Annetta Pedretti.
In terms of the lorries