We have consistently challenged McCann’s claim that the site will not be noisy. We have pointed out that the noise readings in their reports, if they were taken at all, were not taken at Littleport.
Now an independent report, commissioned by the council itself, has also rubbished McCann’s noise claims.
ECDC have taken the unusual step of asking consultants to review the documents. Their study is dated September 2017 and was published on the ECDC website on 24 November, concludes that the noise impact will be significant.
The author of the independent report says that McCann’s “…noise measurement results cannot be reliable.” In his conclusion he states that Hoare Lee (McCann’s noise consultants), “…underestimate the noise impact from specific noise sources, by using incorrect specific noise levels and unrealistic on-time assumptions.”
On points of detail he says, “In my opinion the noise break-out from the production shed has not been fully assessed” and “I do agree that unloading noise has not been assessed…this could constitute a dominant noise source.”
This supports what we have been saying all along. McCann is not presenting the true facts to planners and to councillors.
But decision makers no longer have to decide between the various claims and counter-claims. They now have independent expert opinion about the noise impact on which to base their decision.
This is not rocket science. It’s a giant factory manufacturing concrete with constant lorry deliveries and fork lift truck movements. Who truly believed it would not be noisy?
The independent report also exposes other “falsehoods.” Residents have regularly complained that the banging of moulds at the site was an extremely noisy activity. To residents’ amazement, McCann simply told the council that this no longer happens. But, as part of the study, ECDC’s consultants made a secret visit to the site and were able to witness those activities first-hand.
McCann’s response is awaited but, at the time of writing, we cannot say if the information they provided was untruthful or they just made an honest mistake.
This pattern is not unfamiliar. At its Cheshire site, after residents complained, McCann told the council that unauthorised out-of-hours working was not taking place. Perhaps this was an honest mistake but it was only when residents filmed it happening that it became undeniable. The council were able to take action and issue an enforcement order.
All we are asking is that, when this decision is made, it is based on facts.