Barbican Residents Protest Linklaters' Temporary Power Generator Causing Health Issues

Residents of London's Barbican estate protest temporary power generator installed by law firm Linklaters, causing nausea and headaches due to fumes, highlighting the challenges of balancing business and community needs in urban areas.

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Nitish Verma
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Barbican Residents Protest Linklaters' Temporary Power Generator Causing Health Issues

Barbican Residents Protest Linklaters' Temporary Power Generator Causing Health Issues

On April 21, 2024, residents of Cromwell Tower on the Barbican estate in London gathered outside the offices of law firm Linklaters to protest a temporary power generator that has been causing nausea and headaches due to fumes. The generator was installed after Linklaters' transformer failed on March 27, 2024, resulting in a power outage at the firm's offices.

Sarah Stobbs, who has lived in Cromwell Tower for 14 years, led the protest, stating that the situation was "not liveable" and that residents were "bearing the burden of Linklaters' emergency." Residents have contacted the City of London, which is working with Linklaters to resolve the issue.

Linklaters has taken steps to mitigate the impact of the temporary generator, which is running on biofuel, by moving it to a new location and reducing its operating hours. However, a new transformer is expected to take 16 weeks to install, meaning residents won't be able to open their windows all summer.

Why this matters: The situation highlights the challenges of balancing the needs of businesses and residents in densely populated urban areas. It also raises questions about the responsibility of companies to ensure their emergency measures do not negatively impact the health and well-being of neighboring communities.

The City of London Corporation has stated that they take noise and pollution complaints seriously and are working with Linklaters to find further improvements. A spokesperson for Linklaters said, "We have been working with the City of London and the Barbican Residents Association to minimize the impact of the temporary generator, and we hope to restore mains electricity to our building as soon as possible."

Key Takeaways

  • Residents of Cromwell Tower protest Linklaters' temporary generator due to fumes.
  • Generator installed after Linklaters' transformer failure caused power outage on March 27, 2024.
  • Linklaters takes steps to mitigate impact, but new transformer expected to take 16 weeks.
  • Situation highlights challenges of balancing business and resident needs in urban areas.
  • City of London and Linklaters working to find further improvements to address complaints.