Pyestock sound barrier 'not good enough'By Stephen Lloyd
December 12, 2011
PEOPLE living close to a proposed massive warehouse complex have warned a wooden fence planned to reduce noise from HGVs thundering past their homes is not good enough.
PruPIM and Astral Developments, the joint developer of the Pyestock mega- depot between Fleet and Farnborough, is proposing to erect the fence along the A327 Minley Link Road. But residents say the fence is not high enough.
Steve Hamilton of Broadhurst in Farnborough said a one-metre high acoustic barrier on his stretch of the road would not be sufficient and it was ‘quite insulting’ to think it could possibly work.
He called for noise measurements to be re-taken after the barrier is put up and if the test is found to fail then it should be upgraded.
Mr Hamilton said an acoustic barrier of at least two metres high of motorway grade with re-instated planting was needed.
“This is the minimum the residents should expect to try and maintain some quality of life,” he added.
“There is significant money being thrown at this project, don't let them hoodwink us with this current below-expectation offer, which is very typical for this project.”
Ian Johnson of Fennel Close in Farnborough said the studies should have been more comprehensive, given the ‘massive increase’ in noise and traffic the development will produce.
“Conducting a noise measurement exercise at 2am in the morning will not provide an accurate assessment of traffic noise as the road is all but deserted at this time,” he added.
“As a resident I would expect a thorough and prolonged test period of at least 24 hours over at least two working days.
“The testing should also be conducted during the winter months when the majority of screening has lost its foliage and is thus providing the minimum of resistance to noise penetration.
“This is clearly an attempt by the developer to install the absolute minimum to satisfy planning requirements.”
A High Court judge finally gave the mega-depot the green light following a two-day hearing in May 2010.
More than 12,000 residents objected to the 1.3 million sq ft warehouse, equivalent to more than 20 football pitches worth of concrete floorspace.
Ian York, senior planner with agents Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, said an acoustic fence was considered at the public inquiry into the proposal and contributed to the subsequent grant of planning permission by the Secretary of State. He said there had been an ‘extensive’ period of consultation with Hampshire County Council highways officers to discuss and agree the design proposals in advance of submitting the application to Hart District Council.
“The height of the fence has been adjusted from that originally proposed in some sections to compensate for the revised distance from the carriageway and alterations to the ground height at its base,” added Mr York.