Agenda item

Petition regarding night time noise on the East Quay at Newhaven Harbour

The Council has received the attached petition with 933 signatures relating to monitoring the dust and noise from the operation of scrap boats on the east quay at Newhaven Harbour at night.


As the number of people signing the petition exceeded 750, the petitioners have the right for the petition to be presented to and debated at the Scrutiny Committee. The lead petition, Councillor Carr, will be given the opportunity to present the petition, and Ed Hele (Functional Lead - Quality Environment) will be present to give a verbal response to the petition. In accordance with the petitions scheme (which can be found at, the Committee is invited to determine any further steps required to respond.



The Committee received a petition with 933 signatures which related to monitoring the dust and noise from the operation of scrap boats on the east quay at Newhaven Harbour at night.


The Functional Lead (Quality Environment) (FLQE) explained that the site named in the petition had been a working port with no restriction regarding hours of operation prior to the current planning regulations which were in place.


The FLQE discussed the Environment Agency’s (EA) study of ambient air quality at Newhaven Marina along with its findings, and a letter to the Committee written by the operation managers of the scrap metal business based at Newhaven Harbour, H. Ripley & Co. Hard copies of each document were distributed to all those who were present at the meeting.


Discussion included:


·         Noise monitors. The FLQE explained that Ripley’s had its own noise monitors as part of a noise management plan with the EA. He further explained that Ripley’s agreed that it could do more sorting of scrap metal during the daytime and on the weekend in an effort to reduce noise in the evenings;

·         Noise complaints. The FLQE informed the Committee that when the Council received noise complaints, it undertook noise monitoring but that it could also do further noise monitoring in cooperation with Ripley’s and the EA if the Committee requested. He clarified that although the Council had noise monitoring machines for small owned/rented properties, it would have to hire noise and dust experts to undertake further noise studies of Newhaven port; and

·         The cost of noise monitoring. The FLQE explained that the Council would incur additional costs for several months of noise monitoring with a minimum cost of £5k per location.






1.    That it be noted that the working port of Newhaven, which permits for recycling of metals, has been in existence for longer than much of the housing on the west bank of Newhaven;

2.    That the petition be noted and thanks be given to those who organised it;

3.    That the Environment Agency’s report and letter from H. Ripley & Co. be noted;

4.    That the siting of the sampling devices on the west bank and the prevailing wind from a westerly direction as detailed in the Environment Agency’s report, be noted;

5.    That it be agreed that the Environment Agency’s report , taken on the west bank, showed that dust and particle problems did not exceed the air quality standards on the west bank and that it is reported back to the petitioners by Councillors Julie Carr and Graham Amy;

6.    That it be noted that the worst air quality measurements on the Environment Agency’s equipment  on the west bank were:

a)    When the wind was blowing from an easterly direction;

b)    During working hours; and

c)    Were fugitive emissions such as re-suspension and wind-blown dust;

7.    That the Environment Agency, as a result of resolution 6, be requested to place an air quality measuring device on the east bank, either near the housing on the east bank, or at about the same distance from the Ripley site as the measuring device was placed on the west bank, with the express purpose of obtaining a better picture of emissions from a more sensible location as regards emissions from the port (i.e. downwind) and as experienced by housing to the east, noting also that there will be considerably more housing in this direction both of the Barratts’ site and the Parker Pen site and a new hotel;



8.    That it be noted that Ripley have taken its own noise measurements and that Officers ask if Ripley would share the measurements so that Council Officers can provide a report to a future meeting of the Committee;

9.    That the Environment Agency be asked to take noise measurements on both the east and west banks, during the working day and during the loading of ships with scrap metal; and

10.That the Council should set up its own noise measuring devices to measure noise during the working day and during the loading of ships in the absence of the completion of resolution 9.

Supporting documents: