Noise Report Balcombe Sep 13
Balcombe Parish Council has received the following statement from WSCC:
“In accordance with condition 8 of the planning permission (WSCC/027/10/BA), Cuadrilla undertook a noise survey within five days of the commencement of drilling. The survey was submitted to the County Council. The County Council consulted the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) at Mid Sussex District Council, who assess noise surveys, in order to understand whether the operations at Balcombe were taking place within the noise levels set by condition 7 of the planning permission. The EHO raised some concerns about the data within the survey and these concerns were subsequently raised with Cuadrilla by the County Council. Cuadrilla’s response to the concerns was then sent to the EHO and there has been an on-going discussion about the data and its implications.
During this period, the County Council was receiving complaints about noise at night-times. In the absence of a definitive view about whether there has been a breach of condition, the County Council has been discussing concerns about noise with the operator and pressing for changes to be put in place to mitigate the impacts of the operations. As a consequence, Cuadrilla made some operational changes to reduce the noise of the operations at night-time and it also put some physical mitigation measures in place to reduce the impact of the activity. Following further pressing from the County Council, Cuadrilla is continuing to undertake sound readings from various locations and it is looking into the use of further soundproofing and noise abatement measures.
The noise attenuation and mitigation measures put in place seemed to have resolved the problems being caused at night-time and no complaints were received over the recent weekend. Unfortunately, complaints about noise started to be received this week and the County Council has been in dialogue with Cuadrilla to understand what may have prompted these complaints. Cuadrilla has been investigating the matter but it has yet to identify the source (for example, a faulty piece of equipment). It has also stated that it will take whatever action is necessary to ensure compliance with condition 7; if necessary, this may involve the reduction of operations or stopping drilling at night-time.
With regard to the release of Cuadrilla’s noise survey to the Parish Council and others, to date the County Council has not considered it appropriate to do this because there has been the on-going discussion about its contents and the implications of the data remains unclear.”
Spectrum Acoustic Consultants’ report, prepared for Cuadrilla and submitted to the WSCC, is attached above.