Local authority maladministration
Source: Noise Bulletin
The Local Authority Ombudsman criticised London Borough of Merton after a new block of flats was constructed above a public house without the correct planning permission. Noise from a metal stair gave rise to noise complaints from residents and planning officers failed to pass on noise complaints about the staircase to Environmental Health officers.
Although the Environmental Health department subsequently served an abatement notice, the Ombudsman found "the new staircase was not suitably constructed to provide reasonable resistance to sound and caused a statutory nuisance in the adjoining building. The failure to identify that resistance to sound applied to adjoining buildings as well as to other flats within the building was maladministration".