Compensation for Metro construction neighbours

Neighbours to 21 construction sites can claim up to 20,000 kroner a month in compensation for elevated noise levels during the night and evening

Residents living beside the 21 construction sites for the new Metro City Ring will be entitled to compensation for elevated noise levels at night and in the evening according to yesterday's ruling by the the government’s expropriation commission, Ekspropriationskommissionen.

The City Council agreed in June to allow Metroselskabet – the company responsible for the construction of the City Ring – to extend its working hours but the company could now have to pay compensation to around 30,000 residents affected by the resulting elevated noise levels.

“The proposed solution can quickly be taken up by all the affected workplaces and residents, even those who wouldn’t have initially considered raising a case,” commission chairman Helle S Andersen told Politiken newspaper. “Residents will be given security about their position. Most importantly, they will be able to receive their compensation while the extended working hours are underway and not afterward.”

Around-the-clock work will start at two of the sites – Marmorkirken (Frederik’s Church) and Øster Søgade – later this week, while residents near the Nørrebroparken site can retroactively claim compensation for the 24-hour work that was carried out there earlier this year.

Neighbours of these three sites can claim between 5,000 and 20,000 kroner a month if noise levels exceed 65 decibels, and between 1,750 and 10,000 kroner a month for noise levels between 55 and 65 decibels. Higher sums will be granted for larger flats.

Work at the remaining 18 construction sites will be extended to 10pm and nearby residents will be entitled to claim between 5,000 kroner and 20,000 kroner a month in compensation for evening noise levels over 75 decibels, and between 1,000 and 10,000 kroner a month in compensation for noise levels between 60 and 75 decibels.

In a press release, Metroselskabet stated that it would now read Ekspropriationskommissionen’s verdict and study the financial consequences.

“We are satisfied by the quick verdict,” Metroselskabet's CEO, Henrik Plougmann Olsen, stated in the press release. “From experience, we are aware that the question of compensation is an important issue for a number of neighbours of Metro construction sites and that the waiting time can be frustrating. We have listened to neighbours and are happy that a faster than normal procedure has been established. We will now read the verdict over the coming days.”

Metromonitor, an association of residents affected by the Metro construction, is not satisfied with the level of recommended compensation however.

“It’s a considerably lower level than the neighbours had proposed and less than what was thought to be a respectable sum,” association spokesperson Søren Sandahl told Politiken.

The City Council has made 20 million kroner available for residents to claim for the purchase of sound dampening equipment in households near construction sites, and residents in all buildings that are subject to noise levels over 55 decibels are entitled to move into alternate housing that Metroselskabet must provide.

The extension to working hours was granted by the City Council after Metroselskabet warned that they may run behind schedule and delay the opening of the 17-station City Ring as planned in 2018.