Eight planning breaches by Plymouth incinerator company
A WARNING shot has been fired across the bows of the company building Plymouth's incinerator after it breached planning conditions.
Local residents complained that contractors working on the energy-from-waste plant in Devonport Dockyard's North Yard had made too much noise and worked longer hours than permitted.
After an investigation, Plymouth City Council found that MVV Environment Devonport Ltd had breached its conditions eight times.
On five of those occasions construction work went on between seven and 20 minutes past the official finishing time of 6pm.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Three times it exceeded permitted noise levels, by between one and five decibels.
The council has now issued MVV with a Planning Contravention Notice.
The company has 21 days to comply and could be fined if found guilty of an offence.
The notice puts the developer on formal alert that the council is unhappy that the breaches are continuing.
Members of the council's planning committee were being told today: "Although the developer has put forward specific reasons explaining the breaches and arguing on each occasion that unexpected special circumstances have given rise to these incidents, the council cannot in any sense condone or accept that these problematic incidents should be occurring."
The council launched an investigation after people living in nearby flats claimed that their floors shake and walls vibrate when pile-drilling takes place at the site.
MVV publishes details of the excess noise on its website and has sent apologies to residents who may have been affected.
It sent 200 letters to properties in Talbot Gardens, Savage Road and Poole Park Road in November.
MVV said that louder than expected noise was a result of workmen striking concrete and other hard materials while drilling.
A pile drilling rig had hit an obstruction on November 28 – the company's noisiest breach yet – and workers had to place extra acoustic barriers around it.
MVV managing director Paul Carey said last night that pile drilling was due to resume on Monday and finish by the end of this month.
"We will continue to be extra vigilant in carrying out mitigation work and monitoring."
He said the company was offering to increase the frequency of monitoring.
"Once piling is over the nature of the noise will change and we hope it will be less problematic."
The Herald was unable to contact anti-incinerator campaigners Plymwin.
The council granted planning permission for the incinerator on February 3 last year after a controversial December 23, 2011 planning committee meeting.
The council laid down a maximum noise level and permitted working hours from 8am to 6pm.
September 20: Breach of working hours beyond 6pm by 20 minutes.
September 28: Permitted noise level exceeded by 3dBLA and 1dBLA.
October 2: Breach of working hours by 15 minutes.
October 10: Permitted noise level exceeded by 5dBLA and 4dBLA.
November 2: Breach of working hours by seven minutes.
November 16: Breach of working hours by seven minutes.
November 21: Breach of working hours by 25 minutes.
November 28: Permitted noise level exceeded by 5dBLA and 1dBLA.