Housing turned down next to steelworks

A scheme for 16 houses in south Wales was rejected because noise from an adjacent steelworks would harm the living conditions of occupiers and compromise the operation of the works.

An inspector noted that all heavy goods vehicles visiting the works had to pass along an internal perimeter road adjacent to the proposed rear gardens. The works operated on a 24-hour basis and the weighbridge which was 33m from the appeal site boundary was in use between 6am and 10pm on weekdays. The inspector acknowledged that sound attenuation measures would result in noise levels in the rear gardens that satisfied World Health Organisation guidelines over the daytime period. However, having regard to the intermittent noise generated by visiting lorries, he considered the noise levels would be such that there would be a strong likelihood of complaints in the future especially if the activities increased.

The inspector also noted that the operators of the steelworks were concerned that the proposal would result in complaints about noise that could restrict current activities and prevent future expansion.  This concern was shared by the council which recognised the works as a well-established business and local employer. Since all vehicles visiting the works had to use the orbital road past the site, he considered that an increase in lorry movements would increase the likelihood of complaints.

Inspector Gwynedd Thomas; Written representations

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