Hackney Wick residents kept awake by ‘astronomical’ noise from Olympic Park

Residents in Hackney Wick are angry and frustrated as hovering helicopters and firework displays at the Olympic stadium are keeping them awake late at night.

They say firework displays, which were part of technical rehearsals for the Olympic opening ceremony, continued until after 12.30am on July 23 and 25, and helicopters have hovered over their houses every night for over a week.

Trowbridge Estate resident, Jane Ball, 28, said she “woke up with a shock” as fireworks begun. “It was such a ridiculous hour. It was pretty annoying and I think it was unnecessary especially as it was a dress rehearsal. There is enough disruption already so I think they could at least try and keep it to a minimum before the Games.”Carer Kathy Ferguson, who lives on the Sherry’s Wharf estate, added: “On Monday fireworks were going on until 12.50am and Wednesday until 12.30am. I have to be up at 5.30am in the morning for work. I’m very irate and tired.

“If we are having a party and it goes on late, noise abatement come and close it down. So why is it a different rule for them?”

Penda’s Mead estate resident Catherine Kemp said that the “droning noise of helicopters” is keeping her awake at night.


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“The noise is astronomical and there is a massive downdraft. I’m worried it will carry on every night until all the Olympics has finished.”

She said there are up to three helicopters at once that hover about 40 feet above her house for up to an hour.

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“You can’t speak to someone out in the road because of the noise. Then there are fireworks on top.”

Mother-of-one Laura Gill, of the Kingsmead estate, added: “I completely understand they have got to practice but do they have to do it at 11 o’clock at night?

“They have been really good telling us about the roads but I didn’t see any notification about the fireworks practices.”

She is worried that her 16-month-old son will be kept awake by the noise.

A LOCOG spokesperson explained that the helicopters, arranged by LOCOG, are there to film parts of the Opening Ceremony.

“Each one has cameras on and they are the images you see when you see the whole of east London.

“Residents have been informed in advance of the ceremony rehearsals and the activities that would be happening by letter. We have held consultations in the area about the times of the rehearsals. This is something that has been planned for some time.”

He said that residents can expect the same tonight for the opening ceremony but the show should finish between 12 and 12.30am.

“We have taken all the steps we can to minimise disruption. However we are putting on a ceremony that will be seen by the whole world so we need to test this to get it right.

“We hope residents might be watching it on television.”

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