The ‘din from Dong’ which is stopping sleep

Graham Stuart MP

Graham Stuart MP

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Residents say they are fed up with loud hammering in the middle of the night from an offshore wind farm being constructed off the east coast.

An MP has called for a meeting with Dong Energy after two nights this week when people in Withernsea and villages along the coast have been woken in the early hours by the dull thud of piling for the huge turbines being constructed just offshore.

One resident described how his house shook from the vibrations from the piling for the first 35 turbines to be built on the controversial Westermost Rough development.

Edwin Wilson who lives in a sheltered complex just off the seafront with his wife Valerie, who is recovering from an illness, said he felt Dong “must be having a laugh” when the hammering began for the second time this week.

Their four-year-old granddaughter woke up at 4am and told them she couldn’t sleep because of the “bang, bang, bang”.

Villagers a mile inland were also disturbed in the middle of the night.

Mr Wilson, who is disabled, only lives a few metres from the Promenade wall and said developers hadn’t calculated that when they were piling into bedrock “it was like rings in a puddle”.

He said: “These rings go into the bedrock and hit the concrete sea defences which works as an amplifier with the bungalows on top. We are physically like a speaker so the inside of the bungalow resonates and things vibrate on the shelves.

“Seathorne is a set of bungalows for the elderly, infirm and disabled. It is soul destroying, we need our sleep. The children have to go to school, they can’t if they are up five hours a night.”

Another villager, who lives a mile inland near Garton, said: “I’d heard that people in Withernsea were getting disturbed but couldn’t believe it when I was woken at 4.30am and found ear plugs didn’t help.”

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart said he had asked Dong to come to his office next week to tell them what they were going to do about the noise.

He said: “I heard about the thudding noises and vibrations on Wednesday morning from constituents in the Withernsea area who hadn’t slept a wink.

“I spoke to East Riding of Yorkshire Council immediately and they undertook to send down noise monitoring equipment.

“I told Dong I wanted them to cease drilling at night and alerted the Marine Management Organisation who licensed Dong to do this offshore drilling.

“They promised to get someone to Withernsea to make sure the drilling licence wasn’t being breached.

“I was relieved not to receive any more complaints from my constituents yesterday, but it seems last night was bad again – one constituent told me they were awakened at 3am and another emailed me at 5.45am to let me know he was being kept awake. “I’m doing my utmost to ensure that my constituents who live on the coast don’t have to put up with unacceptable levels of noise and vibration from this offshore drilling work, especially at night.”

The Marine Management Organisation, which approved the project, said an environmental statement had assessed “potential noise impacts including airborne noise and concluded there would be no significant impact as a result of the wind farm.”

It said: “The MMO is currently looking into the issues raised and is working with the local authority and the developer to do so.

“It is not possible at this time to identify the exact source of any noise.”

Dong Energy’s website hailed the start of work on the farm, which will see the next generation Siemens 6MW turbine used for the first time, and said coming months would see the foundations installed and cables laid, before the turbines themselves are put up.

The foundations - which weigh up to 800 tonnes - have been shipped from Denmark.

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