Planning application for air-handling unit at Asda store in Northumberland recommended for rejection after noise complaints

The failure of Asda to provide more information on a noise issue at its Berwick store has led to an application being earmarked for refusal.

The planning application will be discussed on Thursday, November 21.
The planning application will be discussed on Thursday, November 21.

The North Northumberland Local Area Council deferred a decision related to a unit at the supermarket in Tweedmouth a year ago.

Given that the requested additional details have still not been submitted to the county council, it is now recommended that the bid be rejected at the committee’s meeting on Thursday, November 21.

The application, dating back to July 2018, seeks permission to vary a planning condition related to the installation of air-handling equipment.

The plant has already been installed within the service yard, but not in accordance with the approved plans, and this proposal, which initially went before last November’s local area council meeting, aimed to regularise it.

However, the unit is at the heart of noise complaints from residents on Mount Road, who claimed 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 year’s meeting, council officers recognised the concerns, but they felt that a condition on the planning permission was another way in which they could enforce any noise issues.

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

But the report to this week’s meeting explains that ‘the applicant has submitted an acoustic assessment which concludes that the noise from the air handling unit will not impact on residential amenity.

‘However, following site visits, it is evident that there is an impact to the properties on Mount Road and the applicant has been asked to carry out further testing.

‘So far, no results of this testing have been received and while it is understood that engineers have been back to the site and options for alternative equipment and/or mitigation are being considered, no information has yet been supplied to the authority in this respect and it is therefore considered appropriate to recommend the application for refusal.’