Residents plagued by noise from the Chinese Foreign Ministry construction site in Mid-Levels are outraged over a noise exemption permit allowing work after office hours and on public holidays. The permit was issued by the Environmental Protection Department, despite its case against the company for having operated since April without a noise permit. Starting yesterday, the new permit will allow for crane and hoist operations between 7 am and 10 pm on weekdays and 9 am and 7 pm on Sundays and public holidays, until October 31, the day before a new noise regulation comes into effect. The new rule will lower the decibel level from 65 to 50 in urban areas. The Foreign Ministry building, a $1 billion gift from tycoon Li Ka-shing to the Chinese Government, has been the cause of a long-running dispute between residents and Mr Li's company Cheung Kong. At least one resident, Jonathan Midgley, and his family have been forced to move out because of the persistent noise. 'Why should I be put in this position? It is an uncivilised practice,' he said.