Sunday, February 18, 2007

Noisy Neighbour

Action is being sought from the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency as a factory on Albert Hill is creating a nuisance by operating outside of prescribed working hours.

The factory, JW Recycling (formerly Just Wood), overlooks the Rockwell River Restoration scheme and housing in Springfield. Residents have complained to us about the noise, which can go on into the evening. Company staff have also been seen collecting items from outside the fence before leaving the operation.

The factory has a long history of causing a nuisance to local people, most recently in the summer of last year when a wood-chipping machine sent fragments hurtling into the popular riverside area. Cllr. Andy Scott gave evidence to the Health and Safety Executive which resulted in the company being served a Prohibition Notice regarding the operation of the machine.

We have contacted officers at the Town Hall, and they have told us that the matter will be taken up with the company, and that the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency will also be contacted.

This is a long-standing problem, and local people need to know that the company will stop its anti-social methods of operation.


miketually said...

I'm guessing that's the factory that I can hear right now if I open a window at the back of the house; it sounds like someone operating a pneumatic drill while smashing glass milk bottles with an iron bar. We're half a mile away from the factory.

Darlington Councillor said...

It's a bit complicated - the wood chipping machine is now limited to operating between 8.00 and 18.00 hours Monday to Friday and 9.00 to 13.00 hours on Saturdays with no wood reducing activities to take place on Sundays or Bank Holidays. The second legal notice set a noise level of 5db above the background noise level which must not be exceeded under certain conditions.

Confusingly, two other businesses cause a racket in the area - there were complaints at the back end of last year regarding loud banging and clanging in the early hours and late at night, and an investigation found that the noise was not coming from JW Recycling but from AW Fabrication and MechTool Engineering Ltd.

The advice we have received is that residents who are adversely affected should keep a diary sheet recording date/time etc and the nature of the noise. This should help the Environmental Health people isolate the source of the noise and take action.

ian white said...

I find it ironic that it seems to be all the "greenies" who wanted recyling etc, who are the ones that are now complaining clearly a "NIMBY" situation!

miketually said...

It's not quite in My Back Yard, Ian, it's half a mile away. The noise doesn't bother me too much, but I imagine it's a lot worse close up.

If recycling reduces the quality of the living environment for those living near to where it's carried out, then it's not having an overall improving effect upon the environment. If the noise were below an acceptable level and confined to certain hours, I'd happily have the site in My Back Yard.