Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, Graham Stuart is continuing to press the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) to make an amendment to the licence it issued to Dong Energy to drill into the seabed in the construction of the Westermost Rough offshore wind farm.
This phase of construction began in March and since that time residents have reported disturbances during the night from what appear to be vibrations from the drilling.
Mr. Stuart said: “I am pleased to say that both Dong and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) have reported back to me on the investigations I asked them to undertake into the vibrations from the offshore drilling near Withernsea.
“I spoke to Dong late last week who tell me they are looking at how they can change their techniques to minimise vibration. They are also studying the weather windows to avoid night time piling wherever possible.
“Meanwhile the MMO and the Council are analysing the data they’ve collected in residents’ homes and today the MMO will take the decision as to whether there is sufficient evidence to vary the licence to restrict piling activities to day time hours.
“I wasn’t content just to lobby the MMO, make representations to the Council, respond to constituents, set up a Facebook page and engage with Dong – I wanted to make sure I heard directly from others who might not have thought to complain or contact me. That’s why I and East Riding councillors went out door to door so that we could hear people’s experiences and make sure ordinary residents’ views were taken into account.”
“I appreciate the need to get this work completed but it is not acceptable that residents are being disturbed during the night.”
Withernsea resident Ann Nuttall said: “I was pleased to meet Graham when he knocked on my door in Withernsea last month to ask if I had been disturbed by the vibrations. I had been disturbed but wasn’t inclined to lodge a formal complaint. It was good that Graham took the time to call round and ask my opinion.”
Councillor Kevan Hough said: “The noise and vibrations have been a problem for quite a few residents. I have had complaints about the loss of sleep and enquiries about the possible damage to properties and infrastructure.
“The effect of the noise caused by the piling is quite strange as it appears to be louder inside some properties than it is outside. I would prefer it if Dong Energy would take its responsibilities towards residents more seriously and limit their operations to during the day. Making people lose sleep through their actions is anti-social behaviour in my opinion.”
Press release, April 8, 2014; Image: grahamstuart