Mystery surrounds noise which suddenly stopped

RESIDENTS have spoken of their surprise after a noise which “drove them crazy” for three years suddenly stopped over-night.

Last Wednesday, March 7, a meeting was held in the United Reformed Church, Cokeham Road, Sompting, to discuss the noise caused by the Enviropower plant in Lancing Business Park.

Following a “significant number” of complaints from residents who live near the site, the meeting was arranged by Adur councillor Brian Boggis and county councillor David Simmons, to give Rabbit Group, which manages the plant, and the Environment Agency (EA) a chance to respond to residents’ complaints.

However, 40 hours before the meeting, representatives from both organisations cancelled their attendance at the meeting.

Following the meeting, Langdale Close resident Eric Scammell, 67, said he was shocked to wake the next day to hear the noise had stopped for the first time in three years.

He said: “It was a 24/7 high pitched noise. It was driving us nuts. My neighbour had to sleep with a pillow over his head, because even at 3am it’s still going. But the strange thing is, it’s just stopped. After three years of being constant it stops the day after the meeting.”

The meeting heard residents experienced the noise most noticeably outside of business hours, with people in Bowness Avenue being worst affected.

They said they had been unable to enjoy their gardens and had to close windows overnight, with increased levels of sleeplessness.

On explaining why they did not attend, a spokesman for EA said it had experience of handling public concerns and felt the meeting could be “counter-productive”.

Another meeting is planned for the end of April and Rabbit, EA and East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton will again be invited.

Duncan Barass commercial manager for Rabbit Group, said: “Enviropower was not formally invited to the public meeting until one week beforehand. With ongoing work commitments, there was insufficient time to prepare a suitable presentation, so rather than presenting poorly and not addressing all and any issues, we decided not to attend.

“Enviropower has not changed any of its procedures, systems or operating methods since the public meeting. This tends to suggest that Enviropower may not be the sole cause of noise issues locally or on the Lancing Business Park.”