Approach to Runway 27, West, Heathrow Airport, 2001. © Peter Marlow (from Point of Interest, courtesy of the photographer and The Wapping Project Bankside*).
From Heathrow Noise Damage Across London – a report prepared by Charles Rolls for HACAN (Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise), June 1997:
Quotes from the social surveys
The nature of the problems mentioned in the surveys fell into well-defined categories. The majority of people who experienced severe annoyance or said it was unbearable mentioned an impact on Quality of Life (ability to use the garden, have the windows open, listen to music/TV, have dinner parties) or Impairment of some Function (doctor’s inability to think during surgery, sleep deprivation,increased family stress).
Some typical quotes on the impact on Quality of life:
“It affects my ability to listen to music.” Paultons Square
“We have to keep our windows closed, we have spent extra money on noise insulation, and we can’t use the garden” Paultons Square
“Hard to concentrate on reading” Paultons Square
“Deters us from sitting in the garden. The noise is too frequent” Christchurch Street “Severely affects TV reception” Camberwell
“The intrusive effect on an otherwise peaceful environment” Camberwell
Some typical quotes on the Impairment of Function:
“Intrusion on thoughts/conversation/examining patients” MD Paultons Square
“Early morning it wakes me and any visitors” Paultons Square “Loss of sleep is extremely debilitating” Paultons Square
“It disrupts the children’s sleeping patterns and causes stress to all the family” Christchurch Street
“Level of noise in the early morning. Often shakes the windows and invariably wakes the children” Christchurch Street
“When we are trying to relax it causes angst” Christchurch Street
“My sleep pattern has been greatly and increasingly disturbed by it” Camberwell
“You cannot get away from noise, it is very invasive and stressful to live with noise you can do nothing about” Camberwell
“Often woken around 4.30 – 5am then very difficult to sleep again – am very tired as a result but how do you prove this?” Camberwell
What is it about the noise that is most annoying?
“There is an increase to a peak then a lull, but with the certainty of the next cycle being repeated” Paultons Square
“No other capital city has been so foolish as to land itself with this level of aircraft noise pollution” Paultons Square
“Hearing one plane and just waiting for the next” Christchurch Street “We end up shouting at each other in the garden” Christchurch Street
“Engine noise – screaming of the engines” Christchurch Street
“The noise in Camberwell is continuous due to the height of the aircraft” Camberwell
“That an area like Camberwell, miles from the airport but seriously affected by the noise does not feature in any consultation process” Camberwell
“You cannot get away from the noise” “I love my home and neighbourhood but the aircraft noise is literally the only thing which is making me consider moving home” Camberwell
“Couldn’t the flight paths be broader, so spreading the noise?” Camberwell
“BAA say we are outside the area seriously affected – this is quite wrong” Camberwell
* Point of Interest is showing at The Wapping Project Bankside, London SE1, until 2 July 2011.