Fracking firm stops drilling in Balcombe after “rattling” noise complaints

Fracking firm stops drilling in Balcombe after “rattling” noise complaints by Bill Gardner, September 9, 2013, The Argus
Work has stopped at the Cuadrilla exploration site in Balcombe after nearby residents complained the noise was rattling their windows and disturbing their sleep. … But officials from the energy firm claimed the delay would only be temporary. … Planning permission granted to Cuadrilla in 2010 stated noise levels for nearby residents should never exceed 55 decibels between 7.30am and 6.30pm from Monday to Friday. At all other times the drilling must not exceed 42 decibels. But at a meeting with the Environment Agency last week, noise experts told Cuadrilla night levels were nearing prohibited levels. Bosses immediately called a halt to the drilling and workmen are now scrambling to fit “sound baffles”, which will muffle the noise of drilling. … West Sussex County Council has had quite a few complaints so we have been trying to reduce noise.

“But we don’t think the noise is too bad. For instance, when a train goes by it reaches 75 decibels. In fact, the noisiest thing around here is the protesters having their Sunday sing-along.” However Vanessa Vine from Frack Free Sussex said the sound of drilling had been “almost unbearable” for householders in Balcombe. She said: “A lot of residents have been complaining since the start about this, and it’s good to see something being done. “People in the village have not been able to sleep and others have been complaining that their patio tiles have been shaking. “Cuadrilla has exceeded the decibel levels so the site should be shut down.” [Emphasis added]

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