Council denies keeping report secret

Chaple Street parking

Chaple Street parking

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Northumberland County Council has denied keeping a report on dangerous levels of noise from coaches secret for six months.

The claim was made by campaigners fighting plans for a coach park on Chapel Street in Berwick.

They say the public was finally allowed to see the report dated October 2015, in May when planning requirements meant it had to be released.

They claim those living around the proposed Chapel Street coach park will, according to the independent analysis by EMAT services, be subject to dangerous levels of noise on a daily basis.

Mae Faulder from the Berwick Needs a Real Coach Park Campaign said: “The county council’s failure to act on the heart-disease risk caused by the coach park is a disgrace. As well as undermining the high street by closing the shoppers’ car park, they seem intent on undermining the health of Berwick’s residents as well.”

But a county council spokesperson said: “We produced a noise report as part of the normal process for such a scheme. This report has not been kept secret. The noise report was required as part of the planning permission and this was placed on the public planning portal as part of that process.

“We are very concerned that the report’s conclusions are being misinterpreted. As would be expected, noise levels are likely to increase when the coach park opens, but certainly not to dangerous levels.

The report concluded that noise levels within the adjacent gardens of properties will fall within the acceptable range of World Health Organisation and British Standards recommendations. The independent consultants, who are specialists in noise issues, consider that the level of noise is not likely to be considered a nuisance.”

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