Town to monitor aircraft noise

By Dave GooderhamRESIDENTS who claim their lives have been blighted by constant aircraft noise could soon have their fears backed up by concrete results.

By Dave Gooderham

RESIDENTS who claim their lives have been blighted by constant aircraft noise could soon have their fears backed up by concrete results.

Special monitoring equipment has been set up in Sudbury so stringent tests can be carried out to monitor the height and noise of planes waiting to land at Stansted Airport.

Concerned lobby groups and community leaders welcomed the arrival of the equipment, which will analysis figures for three months before a report is presented to Sudbury Town Council.

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Brian Howe, spokesman for the South Suffolk Air Traffic Action Group, said: “Our long-term aim is to get a review of all movement of plane traffic over our area.

“Part of what we are doing is assessing and evaluating the impact on people on the ground and the noise monitoring equipment is the first step for that.

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“A lot of individuals have been woken up early in the mornings and get woken up at night - sometimes we can have as many as 10 planes in one hour.

“We hope the monitoring equipment will help show that what was once a peaceful area is no longer so.”

Placed in an undisclosed area of Sudbury, the monitoring equipment will produce regular data for manufacturers Applied Acoustic Design, working as a contractor for airport operator BAA.

Last year, the town council requested the use of the equipment after it received several complaints about the number of jets flying over the town since flightpaths serving the Essex airport were diverted away from the Dedham Vale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The new route, to the north of Ipswich, is used as an overflow for aircraft waiting to access the Abbott's Holding Stack, which is located above Sudbury, before descending to land at Stansted Airport.

Ian Clark, deputy clerk of Sudbury Town Council, said: “The equipment will assess the impact on residents' lives since the changes in the flightpath to Stansted.

“The interest in this spreads much further than Sudbury and all the town council has done is facilitate the experiment. There is a considerable amount of concern in the local area.

“We will expect a report from BAA after a three-month period. I am not sure what is deemed to be acceptable, but we had little or no aircraft noise and now suddenly the movement is quite considerable.”

A spokesman for BAA declined to comment on any problems, but confirmed that Applied Acoustic Design, working on its behalf, had supplied Sudbury Town Council with the monitoring equipment.

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