Villagers celebrate after winning noise battle

PUBLISHED: 12:09 27 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:20 04 May 2010

JUBILANT Littleport and Little Downham villagers are celebrating victory after a six year battle to get a peaceful night s sleep. They have been disturbed by machinery noise from a tyre factory close to their homes which they claim is sometimes so bad tha

JUBILANT Littleport and Little Downham villagers are celebrating victory after a six year battle to get a peaceful night's sleep.

They have been disturbed by machinery noise from a tyre factory close to their homes which they claim is sometimes so bad that it "encircles their houses".

But now county enforcement officers have said "enough is enough", and plan to take immediate action.

"It's been a real intrusion into our lives," said one Littleport villager, who claims she has had sleepless nights because of the noise coming from the factory run by Murfitts Industries in Wisbech Road.

"Sometimes it is so bad at night they I have had to pull the quilt up over my head. Once you are tuned into it you can't get away from it. This is hassle we could do without."

Little Downham villagers are also troubled by the factory when the wind blows the noise in their direction.

"It's been an appalling time," said one villager. "Sometimes there's a high pitched noise and it has been wearing me out both mentally and physically.

"I can't sleep and sometimes the noise seems to encircle the whole property. On rare occasions you put your head down on the pillow and you can feel it vibrating through. "We are elated because at last someone has listened to us and done something. This has been a long fight."

Murfitts Industries, which runs a tyre recycling plant, recently applied for planning permission to raise the noise level at the factory.

But Cambridgeshire County Council planners not only threw out the request, but also ordered immediate enforcement action.

Checks made at night found that the company was operating in excess of both existing noise level conditions as well as the proposed new level.

They also discovered that the company had been operating outside its permitted hours of work on an open part of the site.

County Councillor Philip Read, chairman of development control committee, said: "Residents have had to put up with a terrible situation that I fear would only have got worse. We listened very closely to what they had to say and have acted to protect them. I will be keeping a close eye on what action we will take next."

Downham villages councillor, Anna Bailey, who argued the residents' case at the committee, said: "Residents have been suffering from sleep deprivation, stress and massive disruption to their daily lives caused by this inconsiderate company for years. I am delighted that meaningful action has finally been taken."

Mark Murfitt of Murfitts Industries said: "We don't wish to comment at this stage.

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