Environment Agency closes Romford’s Crow Metals over noise

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A scrap metal plant in Romford has been closed until further notice by the Environment Agency, after experts said it was “likely” to cause “damage to human health”.

The government agency served a notice of suspension on Crow Metals in Crow Lane last week for “serious” noise pollution.

The company’s other site in Dagenham remains open.

The notice, seen by the Recorder, says the Environment Agency received 725 noise complaints about the Romford site between January 2019 and August 2021.

Crow Metals has been ordered to make seven improvements, and its director Joe Wakefield has said he is “working hard to implement them” and is about to start formal discussions with Havering’s council on them. parking problems.

Inspectors have recorded five violations of noise restrictions at the site since October 2018.

According to the notice of suspension, the noise was so loud that it was “likely to cause serious pollution in the form of interference with human senses, damage to human health and alteration or interference with human beings. equipment “.

Those listed as likely to be affected included occupants of surrounding properties and users of the nearby Jutsums Recreation Ground.

The plaintiffs told the Environment Agency that noise affected their sleep, reduced concentration, caused headaches and depression, and prevented people from enjoying their gardens or opening their windows.

In some cases, adds the notice, neighbors “feel unable to stay on the residential property during the opening hours of the regulated facility.”


An Environmental Agency suspension notice said noise levels at Crow Metals were “likely” to cause “damage to human health.”
– Credit: Environment Agency

According to the Crow Metals website, its corporate clients include Ford, Rolls Royce and British Aerospace.

In March, The Recorder revealed that the site had generated complaints for years.

In addition to repeated warnings from the Environment Agency, Havering’s council said in March it had served Crow Metals with a noise reduction notice.

Neighbors, some of whom lived in the area long before Crow Metals moved to the site in 2011, said the noise was “deafening”.

An elderly man said he felt his mental health was affected. He said he counted 142 noisy accidents in a single day.


Crow Metals in Crow Lane

In 2011, Crow Metals moved to a site at the junction of Crow Lane and Jutsums Lane, a few yards from existing residential properties.
– Credit: Archant

The reports obtained by the Recorder showed Crow Metals was threatened with enforcement action in February over the noise problem.

But according to last week’s notice of suspension, inspectors returned in July – five months after that warning – and found noise levels were still in violation.

In the notice, served on Thursday, September 23, Agent Jenny Melvin wrote: “Despite the advice and guidance, the site meetings and two notices of execution during the 2018-2021 period, the operation of the regulated facility currently poses a serious pollution risk.

She continued: “The Environment Agency has decided to suspend the environmental permit … with immediate effect until this notice is withdrawn.”


Crow Metals in Crow Lane

The operations are carried out near residential properties and a popular park.
– Credit: Archant

The company was ordered to make seven improvements by December 23.

They include installing an audible warning system that will alert the business when levels get too high.

Other requirements include the installation of new acoustic enclosures, the installation of mufflers and noise canceling devices on the machines, and the installation of a rubber funnel to prevent the metal from crashing to the ground.

“We are so relieved and happy,” said a neighbor, who would prefer to remain anonymous. Recorder. “We were all texting each other with pictures of glasses of wine the day we found out.”


Crow Metals Environmental Agency Photo

A photograph of an Environmental Agency inspector inside Crow Metals.
– Credit: Environment Agency

Mr Wakefield said: “The Environment Agency’s decision to temporarily close Crow Metals offers homeowners the opportunity to respond to and resolve neighbors’ complaints about noise and dust.

“The Environment Agency has provided a list of recommendations and I am happy to say that we are working hard to implement them.

“In addition, we are on the verge of entering into formal discussions with Havering’s board with potential solutions to ongoing issues regarding vehicle movement and parking associated with our site.

“These potential solutions have already been tested with residents of Crow Lane, based on a recent home survey where we spoke to 60% of households.

“We are a successful family business operating in Crow Lane since 1960, employing dozens of local people.

“We look forward to working with all parties in the weeks, months and years to come. “

To learn more, read:

Romford scrap metal faces legal action over ‘unacceptable’ noise


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