Thursday, 27 May 2010

Homes Not Damaged By Explosive Testing Says Report

The Lincolnshire Echo is reporting that a new report has rejected residents' claims that explosions from a testing site in Faldingworth are causing structural damage to homes Faldingworth Defence Ltd. (formerly Skydock), which operates at the former RAF Faldingworth site, has always denied any such link and says cracks in people's homes are due to the clay sub-grade on which they are built.

The site is used to test military ordnance and hardware, such as the standard field tests of protective armour plate in support of Ministry of Defence development work.

West Lindsey District Council has now made a noise and vibration impact report, by Atkins Ltd., available on its website.

It concludes that the explosions are too loud and noise should be kept below 115 decibels if the number of complaints is to be reduced. The original proposed maximum decibel level was 120 decibels. However, the report also found noise and vibration levels were unlikely to damage properties. Recommendations include better public relations from Skydock, improved notification of testing and more effective noise monitoring.

Mr. Humpage of the
Faldingworth Residents Against
Storage and Testing group.
Mr. David Humpage, a composer who lives in nearby Toft-next-Newton, remaines unconvinced that anything would improve. He told the paper:
"True, the report recommends a 115 decibels limit, but it also says there's no way to make that enforceable.

"As the brief was to deliver something 'usable in court', this aspect was a waste of money.

"The bulk of the report is unsubstantiated gossip culminating in the recommendations to keep monitoring, keep trying to get Richard Briggs of Skydock to give warnings and that Mr Briggs should have a big PR campaign to tell people of the 'importance' of what he's doing.

"We've complained to West Lindsey District Council that we didn't fund this absurdly expensive report just so that our money could be used to tell Briggs how to shut us up."
Mr. Chris Allen, public protection services manager at the district council, said the report was commissioned to give the authority expert guidance, including where enforcement action would be appropriate.

"The difficulty we have in this case is identifying or balancing the right of a legitimate business to operate and the concerns of residents around the site and their right to peace and quiet."
The district council has issued more than one thousand questionnaires to gauge more widespread opinion, which must be returned by the end of tomorrow.

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