Researchers from London South Bank University (LSBU) found that noise levels at London Heliport in Battersea regularly exceeded recommended levels set by the British Standards Institution (BSI). They have suggested the operator should consider compensation for those affected.
London Heliport has said it was considering the findings.
Safe levels of noise
Recommendations from the BSI suggest that noise does not exceed 35 decibels in a living room and 55 decibels in the external parts of residential buildings.
But in one of the nearby apartment blocks, which sits 150m from the site, it was recorded that on a third of the days measured by LSBU experts noise levels were more than 64 decibels. This level of noise exposure poses a ‘medium’ risk of adverse long-term health effects.
Described by its owners as a “vertical gateway to London or VIPs, celebrities and the business community”, the heliport sees up to 80 helicopters take off and land each day.
Overseeing the research, LSBU’s Dr Stephen Dance said the loudest level recorded was 85 decibels which he compared to someone standing next to a motorway. He added that health effects included high blood pressure and symptoms of stress.
Three other sites were tested and showed mostly ‘low’ or ‘negligible’ risk to health.
What happens now?
The report stated that any new planning applications in the area for residential use should include noise mitigation measures to reduce the impact, and that London Heliport should consider “the options for compensating residents who are adversely impacted in noise terms”.
Wandsworth Council, who commissioned the report, said the findings were “very concerning” and “hundreds if not thousands of residents” were affected by the heliport’s noise.
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