INDEPENDENT surveys have failed to identity if excessive noise concerning residents is coming from a large cement factory.
At the October meeting of Waterhouses Parish Council, Cauldon resident Brian Eyre told members that noise, dust and smells from nearby Lafarge Cement plant were affecting residents.
Following the complaint, parish councillors agreed to seek an urgent meeting with the company and environmental officers at Staffordshire County Council.
Lafarge works manager Allan Ruxton accompanied by Andrew Jones and Neil Goodwin, senior monitoring officer at Staffordshire County Council, attended the November meeting of the parish council.
Mr Ruxton said: “We have conducted an independent survey of the area and the results have shown that the noise has gone down from when the last survey was completed in 2010.
“We have visited the areas surrounding the works, but all we could hear was traffic noise.
“We have also gone out at weekend, but still we have failed to pick anything up. We cannot track anything down.
“There are, however, other activities in the area including wind turbines.
“Our survey was done when all our equipment was running.” Mr Jones said the independent survey had been completed over 24 hours and had cost a lot of money.
He said: “We have had three measuring points at six different sites around the boundary works.
“The figures show that the noise level has dropped.
“We are trying to find out where the noise is coming from, so we are looking into the wider community.
“It is very difficult to pin down and we are checking that no employees have left doors open “The low level dust on the day in question could have been caused by doors being left open, but we can reassure people we are taking action and work with the local community.”
Mr Goodwin told councillors that the county council had received complaints about the noise.
He said: “We have taken our own monitors out, but did not tell Lafarge.
“The reading we have taken are all below the permitted levels.
“We have also taken reading at 8pm at night and again they were well below the levels permitted.
“We have told residents to ring us when it is noisy as we will go out and take another reading.
“We want to know what is causing the noise, but we need local people to tell so we can get out at the specific time.
“The company is, however, complying with planning permission.” Councillor Mavis Simpson, who lives on the boundary of the factory, said there had been constant drowning noise in the area.
She said: “There has been some noise and also dust and a horrible sulphur smell in the area which have been recorded.”
Councillor Andrew Carr said that residents should ring Lafarge to make sure that their complaint was logged.
Mr Ruxton added: “The dust on the day concerned has been investigated.
“We have told people to come back to us it occurred again, but we have not received any more complaints.
“Every call is investigated and taken seriously.
“We have looked at the silos and there could have been issues with the doors.
“This is all we have found.”