Noise concerns being investigated at Northumberland supermarket

Asda in Tweedmouth.
Asda in Tweedmouth.

A desire for more information on neighbours’ noise complaints led to councillors putting off a decision related to a unit at a Berwick supermarket.

The application sought permission to vary a planning condition related to the installation of new air-handling equipment at the Asda supermarket in Tweedmouth.

The plant has already been installed within the service yard, but not in accordance with the approved plans, and this bid, which went before last week’s North Northumberland Local Area Council, aimed to regularise it.

However, the unit is at the heart of noise complaints from residents on Mount Road, who claim that the sound from the equipment is very loud, and their view was supported by Coun Georgina Hill, the ward member for Berwick East, at last Thursday’s (November 22) meeting.

Council officers recognise the concerns and the public protection team is investigating the complaints, but they felt that a condition on the planning permission was another way in which they could enforce any noise issues.

Objector Ian Cordingley told the meeting that he was not objecting to the purpose of the application, but that local residents ‘are united in the opinion that the installation is very, very noisy, especially at night’.

He continued to say that he was really seeking assurances that the council’s planning and environmental enforcement teams would ‘rigorously apply’ the requirements to keep the noise below a certain level.

A condition on the approval would limit the noise from the unit to 29db between 7am and 11pm and 28db from 11pm to 7am.

David Latham, from the council’s public protection team, said: “Asda has not done very well here.

“They put it in the wrong place, but that shouldn’t make a difference. They didn’t put any mitigation on it, but have now done that.

“Planning can control this new plant to a limit that will make it inaudible.

“Asda also has other units on the site which are not controlled by planning condition and that would be dealt with as a statutory nuisance by the public protection team.”

However, as the questions mounted from councillors, it was suggested that the application was deferred to seek more information, particularly on the noise monitoring which has been taking place at the site, and it was then unanimously deferred.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service