HC Deb 23 March 1965 vol 709 cc298-9
11. Mr. Henderson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware of the interference with the living conditions of residents in the Tividale area of Rowley Regis due to noise from industrial undertakings; and what steps he will take to deal with nuisance caused by noise.

Mr. MacColl

One complaint about this was made to the Department last April. It is for the local authority, not my right hon. Friend, to take steps to abate a nuisance, and he understands that they have persuaded the firms concerned to take measures which should result in a considerable improvement.

Mr. Henderson

Is my hon. Friend aware that, while most industrial firms use the best practicable means to abate noise from their factories, in some places they do not succeed and this nuisance continues? Would he ask the Minister to consider strengthening the powers of the local authorities and providing assistance to them for the provision of soundproof windows, as has been done in residential areas surrounding London Airport?

Mr. MacColl

If an industrial firm is making the best efforts it can to abate nuisance, that is a good defence. Aggrieved occupiers have power to take their complaints to court themselves without waiting for the local authority.

Mr. Horner

Is my hon. Friend aware that, throughout the country, there is growing revolt by residents against unnecessary industrial noise? Will he consider again the recommendations of the Wilson Report to see what can be done further to strengthen the powers of local authorities?

Mr. MacColl

There is not much general evidence that the powers under the anti-noise legislation are not proving effective where they are used.