20 February 2011

Letter from James Semple re Noise Report

9 February 2011

Simon Stephenson,

Bureau Veritas SA

By email

Copies Janet Wallace, EDDC.

Chairman, Trevelyan Road Residents Association

Dear Mr Stephenson,

Your report number 4195376/2 for Westminster Dredging Company

This report dated 7 January 2011 was posted on the East Devon planning website on 2 February, hence the delay in this enquiry.

We represent a number of our members who live in Trevelyan Road Seaton, next to the pipeline your clients are constructing to convey gravel to the Tesco construction site. Initial analysis of the pipeline system indicates that the noise levels predicted by the planning application – and even by your report - fall short of the levels likely to be generated, and that they are likely to be high enough to cause sleep disturbance to local residents.

I am writing to enquire if you feel able – on behalf of your clients – to consider the reasons for our concern and explain to us why they are unfounded. In the hope that you will agree to this request I am attaching my original critique dated 25 July 2010 and including further comments on your report below.

In section 4.1, you take a pipeline at Boscombe beach as producing sound levels similar to the Seaton pipeline. We feel this is unsound, since the Seaton gravel is coarser and has to rise 5 metres over two roads. This will require much higher volume flow rates – probably twice the settling velocity of the largest particles - than the Boscombe pipeline, which we understand did not rise to any significant degree and probably conveyed most of the solids as bedload. This means Seaton should be noisier than Boscombe, for reasons explained in the attached critique.

I should be grateful for your comments, which I shall pass on to the Trevelyan Road Residents Association.

Thank you for your attention.

James Semple

Seaton Development Trust

1 comment:

  1. Planning condition 6 states "The pipeline shall be enclosed at all places where noise generated during the movement of material within it is likely to be clearly audible at the facade of nearby residential properties. Prior to the commencement of filling operations the noise levels (during the day and at night time) at the facade of those properties namely nos. 1-8 Trevelyan Road, Bay View, 66 & 68 Harbour Road,113-115 Harbour Road and Bridge Cottage shall be submitted to and agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority. The filling operation shall not exceed the noise levels so agreed. (Reason - To protect the amenities of local residents.)"

    So are the agreed noise levels acceptable? I don't know the answer, but am assuming they are based on some standards. If they are acceptable, then if they are exceeded during the pumping operation, the filling will have to stop until the appropriate mitigation is put in place. The main question then becomes who is responsible for measuring the actual noise as opposed to the expected noise level based on calculation.

    Do EDDC environmental services have responsibility to ensure this condition is met? They apparently have responsibility ( according to their charter (http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/eh_charter.pdf ) for noise ( commercial and private ). They go on to say

    "What do we aim to do?"

    "Provide an efficient and effective service by
    dealing with all enquiries and complaints
    promptly and fairly, and specifically to:
    • Deal with all complaints and enquiries fairly,
    promptly, impartially and in confidence."

    How can we ensure that EDDC monitor this requirement in a timely manner to ensure the planning condition is met. If as James suspects, the noise generated is above the agreed limits, then a rapid response will be needed to avoid an ongoing breach of the condition.

    Perhaps our EDDC representative could step in to help in much the same way as the Trinity Ward member recently did to minimise the impact of HGV traffic through Axmouth!