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North Derbyshire leisure centre energy saving heating causes noise pollution

A father who bought a bungalow next to Eckington Leisure Centre to accommodate his disabled daughter said its new environmentally-friendly heating system had significantly increased noise pollution at his home.

North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC) installed air source heat pumps at the community facility in a bid to improve energy efficiency, however Paul Vardy, who lives in a house in Gosber Road next to the centre, said since then a noise survey showed the sound levels at his property had increased from an acceptable 50 decibels to 60 decibels, the amount you’d expect in a commercial area.

To address this, the authority submitted an application for a four metre high acoustic fence along the south-eastern corner of the building, however Mr Vardy said he didn’t think this would be sufficient.

Speaking to NEDDC’s Planning Committee on March 21 he said he’d bought the property in 2011 due its suitability for his daughter who had suffered a brain injury in an accident, and at the time the only noticeable noise was from the road during the day.

Mr Vardy continued: “The background noise before the installation was 50 decibels, I want 50 decibels back at my property and I don’t believe this acoustic fence will reduce the noise.”

Members questioned whether the proposed fence would indeed work to cancel out excessive noise.

Officer Alice Lockett commented: “The fence has been designed to alleviate the noise from the heat pumps, our environmental health officers have confirmed that they believe it will work.”

She added that if there was still a noise nuisance after the erection of the proposed fence it would be dealt with under environmental health legislation.

Members voted in favour of the fence.

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