Benchmark Doors Ltd. 90 Main Road. Hawkwell, Essex

May 18, 2006 by  

Benchmark Doors Ltd. 90 Main Road. Hawkwell, Essex

Environmental Protection Act 1990
Statutory Noise Nuisance from: Dust Extraction Unit

Here is an update with regards to the ongoing noise nuisance investigation.

This has now been resolved but I still need to be satisfied that there are no dangers of pollution.

As soon as residents told me about the noise nuisance I took the matter up with the Officers at RDC because this was in breach of a planning condition introduced by myself to safeguard residents. RDC yesterday served a noise abatement notice on Benchmark Doors under s.80 of the above Act. It requires the company to abate the statutory noise nuisance by Friday 2 June 2006. Under RDC advice, the company has engaged an acoustician in order to resolve the issue and RDC is expecting to receive his preliminary report this week. This report will form the basis of the company’s efforts to comply with the abatement notice.

 John Mason



3 Responses to “Benchmark Doors Ltd. 90 Main Road. Hawkwell, Essex”
  1. John Mason says:

    Having notified a resident about the latest developments I have received concerns about Pollution.

    “Note that there is a further factor which needs to be
    pursued – that of possible POLLUTION. The Residents
    need to be assured, in writing, that there is no
    possibility of pollution arising from STYRENE DERIVED
    PRODUCTS. You will be aware(during our visit to the
    factory) that the doors were being trimmed and
    rubbed-down to specific sizes – it is the resultant
    dust that is being EXTRACTED. We were told, by the
    Directors, that this is ‘filtered’ – no filter can be
    100%. We were also told that the filtered air was
    re-directed back into the factory to retain
    temperature. This fact holds good for the Winter
    season – in the Summer it would be ejected into the

    This Extractor Plant is causing trouble to the local

    Here is my reply:

    “You did not include the advice given to the Council by Officers on 19 October at Planning Services.

    I wrote to you on 20 October 2005 and explained that, as the legal
    officers stated at the planning meeting, the proposal by Councillor Stansby for a second referral would have left the Council open to an Appeal for non determination where the Appellant could have been awarded costs against the Council because the reason for delay in determination would not have been for a reasonable planning reason.

    Because of this I proposed an amendment to the Planning Conditions
    adding a requirement for the Council’s statutory responsibilities for Environmental Health to be discharged before the planning permission was effective. I understood that the statutory responsibilities for Environmental Health would take six months to complete. This proposal was designed to protect the interests of residents notwithstanding the view of Officers that this was unnecessary because of the statutory responsibilities for Environmental Health to be completed. This was Approved by Council.

    I have since followed up on concerns about noise from a resident because I received a request to do so. I did not know that the Council had failed to fulfill the planning condition set by Council.

    I will assume that you are also now complaining that there is POLLUTION
    from this plant and ask Martin Howlett, the RDC Officer in charge of this case, including satisfying the planning conditions that were set, and ask him to write to you as you have requested regarding the safeguards and testing that was undertaken before the planning condition was satisfied. I must say that if noise protection had not be fulfilled then I am less than satisfied that POLLUTION has as well.

    I would ask Martin in view of your complaint that there is POLLUTION to re-test the facility and advise you of the outcome. I regard this as a serious complaint. I have copied in the Head of Service, Graham Woolhouse,asking him to take a personal interest.

    Martin, please review this issue and in writing to Mr. Sibley on the technical matter please copy me into your reply.

    Graham and Shaun, I would also like to know why this planning application
    was allowed to go ahead when clearly the conditions had not been fulfilled when the Council gave the go ahead for operation.”

    John Mason

  2. admin says:

    Reply from Shaun Scrutton, Head of Development Services,RDC

    John, the condition has not been discharged. Environmental Health has
    advised benchmark that the details as submitted are not satisfactory and
    they should employ an acoustic engineer to advise them on how they can
    mitigate the noise harm at the site.

    In planning we have not yet received any revised/updated information.

    My reply trying to get to the bottom of this:

    Hello Shaun,

    In which case why is it already operating? It must be because the
    noise abatement notice has been served by Martin Howlett.

    If it is operating then please obtain an urgent cessation completely
    under planning enforcement. Please confirm that this action will be
    taken urgently.

    Pollution Control and Noise Control must be fulfilled BEFORE the plant
    is allowed to operate.


    John Mason

  3. admin says:

    Pollution Control Issue solved

    Steve Blake RDC says

    Dear Councillor Mason, in reply to your query I confirm that at present Autoplas has directed their Dust Extractor to an internal Filtering system located within the main structure of the building. There is therefore no external venting of the extractor occurring at present. This has been confirmed via several visits carried out by the case officer Mr M Howlett accompanied by myself.

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