A town is at war over a secondary school’s heat pumps locals say have created a “24 hour noise nuisance”.
The row erupted as a new study says most eco pumps are too noisy to comply with rules despite the Government wanting the UK to install 600,000 of them.
The pumps take heat from the ground or air and increases it to a temperature that keeps buildings warm inside and are more environmentally friendly than systems using fossil fuels.
Mark Bridges, a resident living near the school, described them as “very noisy”, describing them as a “24-hour” nuisance.
But he blames the Broadland District Council rather than the school which sanctioned their installation – with planning permission only sought after they were installed last year.
Locals say they were promised the pumps would be switched off on bank holidays and during school holidays, reports The Mirror.
However when the pumps were allegedly left running, locals got in touch with the Conservative MP for Broadland, Jerome Mayhew, to resolve the problem.
Mayhew said: “Whilst I welcome the school’s efforts to reduce the carbon impact of their heating system, this needs to be done in a way that is considerate to their neighbours and compliant with the planning system.
“I will continue to help local residents to make sure their concerns are properly considered.”
Head teacher Tim Gibbs says he’s sympathetic to neighbours’ concerns but the school is “compliant”.
“While I am sympathetic to the complaints raised by our neighbours,” he said, “we have responded to all of their concerns and remain compliant in everything we have done with the installation of the air source heat pumps.”
And the council says it is working with residents, the schools and its planning team to resolve the issue.
It said: “Noise testing of the pumps has been carried out and concerns and complaints have been investigated by the council’s Planning Enforcement Team.
“The proposals which provide an alternative source of renewable energy to the school will reduce the reliance on centralised, non-renewable energy sources and make a positive contribution towards achieving green energy targets, tackling the challenges of climate change and reducing the reliance on finite energy sources.”
Express.co.uk has approached the school, council and Broadband MP Jeremy Mayhew’s office for comment.
Residential sized air source heat pumps – which are typically positioned outside a home – can produce a low constant hum of between 40 and 60 decibels which is similar to the level of noise made by a fridge or dishwasher.
However to qualify for the government grant of £7,500 heat pump installations must comply with regulations set out by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) that says a heat pump must not generate a noise louder than 42 decibels within one metre of a neighbour’s door or window.