Greenwich objections to market music plans from those already using ‘sleeping pills’ to combat noise

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: The Cutty Sark during the launch of the Kings Cup Regatta at Cutty Sark, Greenwich, London on May 07, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images / Chris Jackson Collection)

South London residents have objected to plans for a nearby market to play music, with some reportedly relying on sleeping pills to block the noise they currently experience. Greenwich Hospital, the owner of the famous Greenwich Market, has applied to play music at its market in Cutty Sark Gardens in Greenwich.

The plans would see live and recorded music being played at the street food market beside the Cutty Sark ship between midday and 4pm from Friday to Sunday. Recorded noise would reportedly be limited to background music using small speakers below 65 decibels.

The charity behind the plans said in its application: "It will be a small-scale music setup playing in dual or trial, using a low-capacity amplifier with one speaker. Some of the music will consist of only an acoustic guitar and one singer."

Greenwich Council documents stated that the market is currently open between 10am and 5pm from Friday to Sunday. The proposal has been objected to by 14 residents and four councillors, representing the Greenwich Creekside and Greenwich Park wards.

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Visitors to Greenwich market in south London, Britain 31 May 2023. Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon
The charity behind the application also own Greenwich Market -Credit:Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon

The councillors claimed that locals of the nearby Rockfield House were already facing noise disturbances from buskers performing in the area, as well as market stalls playing recorded music. Labour Councillor Calum O’Byrne Mulligan claimed the stage at the market would be within 20 metres of the neighbours’ windows.

Cllr O’Byrne Mulligan said in his representation: "Many residents work night shifts or have young children, and as such the proposed timings represent an acute nuisance. Further, I have had reports from some residents that due to the current levels of noise arising from the gardens they have had to resort to sleeping pills – as noise, including illegal amplified noise, often continues well beyond permitted hours due to limited enforcement."

He added: "Further, residents of Rockfield and Coltman regularly report that persons exiting the Gardens use their bin storage unit as a public bathroom, and I would have concerns about the potential for this to increase should there be a live performance area immediately adjacent."

Labour Councillor Aidan Smith claimed that amplified music from Cutty Sark Gardens had been a 'blight' on the lives of neighbouring residents living in Greenwich Park and Creekside wards. He said complaints from locals had not been sufficiently addressed by market staff or council officers, but felt a trial of live and recorded music events could be carried out over the summer to support a future application for the licence.

Greenwich Hospital said in their application that trained market supervisors would be present at the site to manage disorderly behaviour. The charity said it would also monitor noise levels to prevent disturbances to neighbours and stick to agreed closing times. The topic on music being played at Cutty Sark Gardens will be discussed at a licensing meeting for Greenwich Council on July 8.

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