I am a resident of Bedford Road (which runs opposite Alexandra Palace mainline station) and I am writing to bring your attention to the increasingly frequent nuisance noise disturbances that residents along this street suffer as a direct result of the enormous rise in evening concerts and other late night events at Alexandra Palace (AP).
When I first moved to the area in December 2006 the Palace was not a major events venue. At the time, I recall there being proposals that the building was going to be turned into a hotel and luxury flats.
There was no consultation with the residents along Bedford Road regarding the subsequent massive increase in late night events at that venue and this insidious escalation has lead to much more noise much more frequently. As local dwellers, we are entitled to quiet enjoyment of our own homes.
I am interested in whether residents in other streets are impacted at all. The vast majority of AP evening events finish at 23h00 (or later!) and Bedford Road, it seems, bears the brunt of all the subsequent late night activity with residents regularly putting up with hundreds upon hundreds (if not thousands!) of noisy event revellers trekking past our homes to get to the station. Because the station entrance on Bedford Road is quite narrow, staff block access, which forces revellers to walk around to the main station entrance on Buckingham Road. We are frequently subjected to revellers' shouting, shrieking, littering, chanting and associated anti-social behaviour as they make their way past our homes. At the same time, station staff use booming tannoy speakers to direct visitors, creating even more noise. These tannoy disruptions do not occur otherwise. Finally, the enormous increase in late-night traffic along Bedford Road, again as a direct result of the event, creates much more noise and aggravation than is usual for that time of the night. Bedford Road is not a main road and we feel this level of traffic (and the associated occasional congestion and resulting tooting) thrust upon us at antisocial hours is unwelcome and unfair.
Another unwanted consequence of these late night events, is the impact it is having on our local public transport. My neighbours have complained of not being able to use the W3 bus or trains at certain times as they are too crowded.
Do bear in mind that residents along Bedford Road already tolerate the imposition of increased DAYTIME events at the Palace, which also cause significant increases in traffic as well as shortages of parking outside our own homes because visitors are taking them. We are not complaining about this because it is all part of living in a vibrant community - however AP are just going too far with the expectation that local residents should put up with this late at night too.
So far AP have offered no robust resolution to the problem and have instead proposed the following two 'remedies':
- Put up signs outside AP to ask visitors to keep quiet - hardly a robust measure when dealing with crowds of potentially drunk event revellers
- Increase the number of marshals along Bedford Road to keep revellers on the other side of the street. This is all good and well but we can still hear all the chanting and shrieking and shouting from the crowds thronging past our homes.
I have also been extremely disappointed with the response I have received from Haringey Council regarding this complaint. Their viewpoint is that AP must be able to generate revenue and doing so by hosting these concerts and other late-night events was a legitimate activity. Our viewpoint, however, is that this should not be allowed to happen at the expense of local residents, who absolutely do not benefit from the increased late-night activity and associated stress it adds.
In response, I have spoken with our local Labour Councillor, Liz McShane, regarding our plight and she seems willing to assist in obtaining a fair outcome for Bedford Road residents. I am also planning on raising this issue with Councillor James Patterson at the weekend.
Ideally we'd like to see a drastic reduction in the number of evening events at the Palace, as it is clear that the infrastructure is just not in place to deal with upwards of 10,000 people without disturbing the neighbours. We have made a couple of suggestions to the Palace and await their response. In the meantime, I'd like to get some feedback from neighbours on your experiences of the noise and whether Bedford Road residents can count on our neighbours' support in demanding robust change from AP.