Most noise emails come from…..EAST of Clapham Junction

HACAN gets more emails from areas in South London east of Clapham Junction in a typical week than any other single area. 

This surprises people when I mention it to them.  They expect most of the complaints to come from areas closer to the airport.

I suspect there are four reasons for this:

  • In West London there is now more of an acceptance of the noise (though this is far from universal).
  • Most people moving into West London know there may be planes in the area; this is not the case elsewhere.
  • Unlike West London, there is no real respite from the noise.  In West London people under the landing flight paths get a half day’s break from the noise when planes switch runways at 3pm each day.
  • The fact, brought up in a number of the emails, that  an operational change (often quite a small one) by air traffic controllers can have the effect of concentrating flights over particular areas.

The number of planes flying over parts of SE London can be considerable, with HACAN having recorded over 40 planes an hour at the Oval, the vat majority under 4,000 ft.

Below are a selection of the emails we received over the last week or so.

(Note to aviation experts: some of the assumptions people make about why they are suffering noise may not be accurate.  Don’t let that get in the way of their clear message: they are suffering from the noise.)


Morning, I’ve just moved into Camberwell and I’m devastated by the CONSTANT drone of aircraft. There is literally no respite and the garden has become a no-go zone. We are so far away from Heathrow but almost every plane that lands there flies directly over us and unlike areas of West London, there is no respite or ‘off-days.’

Is there any good news you can provide or have I just made the most expensive mistake of my life?


Hi, when you see coverage of noise you see more (understandably) on noise near the airport. However, we in Forest Hill get noise from around 5am loud enough to wake us up, and are in SE6 area. What can residents from further afield do to get their point about noise across?  Do you have regional or borough action groups or citizen reporting and monitoring groups? I would like to set up a noise monitor but don’t know how to best do this in a way that will ensure the data is usable. Please advise!


Dear Sir or Madam, Do you know if there are any groups or people in Kennington/Lambeth North area who are also disturbed by the massive increase in aviation noise since 2012? I am looking to get in touch to compare their experiences to my own. I assume you are aware that peak noise from Heathrow arrivals have increased fourfold in this area and due to the increase in frequency of flights, there no gaps in the noise.


Hi John, I hope you are well.  We have noticed a further increase of flights – this is now getting out of hand!  We now have times where there are planes every 2 minutes!  We never used to be overflown like this in Hither Green.  Could you please provide the latest data so we can see the increase and suggest what we can do to take further action.


Thanks John.  So from the WebTrak data yesterday I can see now that planes cut across Wandsworth Common so at least now it’s starting to show what we can all see so some progress here*.  The obvious next question is who changed the approach path (it seems from the Croydon stack) as they have never come across the Common before?

* His previous email was a complaint that Webtrak was not showing the true location of the planes.


Please can you advise on action I can take.  Family and neighbours suffering from sleep deprivation thru 4am onwards noise of numerous Heathrow flights and total loss of amenity and enjoyment of our homes. Our property seems to be under the direct flight path. Flights greatly increased as has noise. Generally woken up every morning just after 4am by noise Heathrow incoming flights which even keeping a radio on overnight as background noise, can’t block out aircraft noise. We suffer noise blight from the two “stacks” etc our side of Kent (Biggin and the other one). Have you been contacted by anyone else the Sundridge Park/Elmstead Woods side of Bromley? Can you please let us know whom we can take this totally unacceptable situation up with and if I can do anything constructive in your organisation to get satisfaction for all the residents her in getting rid of this blight on our lives.


I would like to report intense, constant aircraft noise in Brockley, SE4. Planes thunder over the house, over and over again, every day for 18 hours non-stop – a relentless drone and roar of aircraft (e.g. today 21/7/2015).  There is absolutely no relief in the area. I am aware that “planes have always been over the area”, as Heathrow often says, but they have never been at this concentration or intensity, this has got a lot worse recently.

When will the area gets some respite?