Clacton: Six-month study to assess effect of MoD explosions on Essex coastline

Residents say the effect of the explosions can be felt along the Tendring coast Residents say the effect of the explosions can be felt along the Tendring coast

Thursday, May 8, 2014
3:31 PM

A defence minister has agreed to an independent investigation into noise nuisance in Clacton caused by MoD explosions.

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Bangs and vibrations from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) long distance firing range in Shoeburyness have plagued the Tendring coastline for several years.

Now Clacton MP Douglas Carswell has secured an agreement from defence minister Anna Soubry for an independent scientific re-assessment of how bad the nuisance is to residents.

Southdowns Environmental Consultants will install equipment in 2015 in both Clacton and at Shoeburyness to see what effect the explosions are having. The six-month year study is due to report back by the end of 2015.

Mr Carswell, who has had complaints from across the Clacton and Frinton areas, said: “There are two categories of complaint. One is about noise and vibration, including the effect it has on their pets and quality of life generally.

“Another smaller category claim it causes structural damage to their homes, and I have been able to refer them to a specialist from the MoD about that with some receiving compensation.

“I have been lobbying the MoD hard on this for at least seven years. I think what most people resent is a lot of what is being blown up is not weapons systems being tested for our forces, it is an ammunition dump and a way of getting rid of old munitions.

“I live several miles inland and have felt the vibrations. I am not an expert but there is something to do with the way it travels across water which means it’s not just a distant rumble. The atmospheric conditions also place a part because some days I know there have been big explosions ans I have not felt them but other days smaller ones have a big impact.

“People are not imagining it, this is a real problem, and I look forward to the results of this study.

“I will keep on causing minor tremors under the government until they stop causing major tremors for my constituents.”

An MoD spokesman said: “An independent study conducted in 2004 found there is no evidence that noise and vibration generated by activity at Shoeburyness causes structural damage to local property.

“We have commissioned a new study to update the findings and as the activities at Shoeburyness have not changed we remain confident there continues to be no impact on the public.”

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