Pile-driving work for wind farm will go on until end of July
An energy company building a massive new windfarm off Wirral's coast has promised to "review" its working hours after noise from a giant pile-driver drove residents round the twist.
Many took to social media and contacted the Globe to voice their anger after being kept awake by the incessant din.
Work began last week on extending the Burbo Bank windfarm.
The farm will quadruple in size with an additional 65 turbines set up four miles offshore from Meols.
Retired Meols resident John Kirkham said: "The constant, extremely loud thudding 'heartbeat' late into the night, night after night from pile driving the new crop of these monsters is hardly evidence of whoever is behind this scheme showing any consideration for the residents of Wirral.
"These wind farms are rapidly becoming an ugly blot on what is otherwise a beautiful view along the Wirral coastline and must have an impact on the wildlife of the Dee Estuary and beyond.
"I'm all for sourcing environmentally friendly energy, for example solar power, but I seriously doubt the effectiveness of wind turbines.
"In all honesty my granddaughter's plastic windmill from the Pound Shop rotates more frequently than these do."
Reader Helen Browning used our facebook page to ask: "Why at 11.40pm on a Sunday night do the residents of Wirral and elsewhere have to listen and put up with pile-driving out on the rig at sea?
"Why can't they do it during daylight hours?”
Darren Magee, a taxi driver from Irby, said he has been forced to take a day off work after having little sleep due to the noise.
He said: “It was going on for hours. I was at home and was very tired after a hard working week and was prevented from sleeping."
Dong Energy, the Danish firm behind the windfarm, has now promised to review the time work is carried out.
A spokesman said: “Offshore construction has started at our Burbo Bank Extension wind farm off Liverpool Bay.
“The first stage involves piling the foundations for the turbines into the seabed.
“This work can cause some noise so we have provided information about this at a number of public locations in the area and have held public exhibitions to explain what is going on.
“We are also continually measuring the noise and vibrations at three locations around the coast.
“We are aware of specific concern about the timing of piling work undertaken at the weekend.”
“We apologise for any disturbance caused and are now reviewing the schedule for this work with a view to mitigating future issues.”
“The foundation nearest to the coastline has now been completed and piling this foundation was challenging as seabed conditions meant we needed to use a high level of energy to drive the pile in.”
“We therefore hope the impact from the noise and vibration will be reduced going forward.
"We plan to finish all of the piling work by the end of July.”
Wirral Council's environmental health department publishes guidelines for "construction site noise" that restrict times when it is permitted.
The rules say there should be "no noisy work" on Sundays or after 6pm.
A spokesman for the council said: "We have been liaising with Dong Energy over complaints about the noise of work on the Burbo Bank windfarm extension. Yesterday the company reviewed their operating process in response to residents’ complaints.
"There are no restrictions on the hours worked on the wind farm as it is governed by prevailing weather conditions and tide times.
"However we have an ongoing dialogue with Dong Energy and will continue to liaise with them to ensure that work continues in a reasonable way.
"They have issued a number for residents to ring if they are having problems; that number is 0800 111 4478.