Residents raise concerns over noise from Fife biomass plant

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A Markinch residents group has called on Fife Council to take action over the noise being emitted by the biomass plant.

Markinch Residents’ Noise Forum and organisation Biofuelwatch claim figures submitted by RWE in a new planning application prove it is exceeding the noise limit set in the original planning application for the plant.

However, RWE said the figures include local noise sources such as the A92 and that the plant was not even operating on the day the figures were taken.

In response to concerns about the noise levels of the biomass plant, Fife Council says it will investigate this in parallel with the processing of RWE’s new planning application.

Markinch resident Lorna Ross said: “Since 2014, people living in Prestonhall, Mount Frost and Cadham have seen their quality of life and in some cases their health affected by noise from the biomass power plant.”

However, Mark Picton, Markinch CHP biomass site manager, said: “Markinch CHP biomass plant must adhere to strict conditions set within its operational permit for emissions to air, water and noise.

“The noise level set for the plant by planning conditions is 45dB(A), as part of the regular noise assessment required by regulator SEPA we can confirm that the plant has not exceeded the noise limit and we are not in breach of our operational permit.

“It is noted the background readings quoted include all local noise sources such as the A92 and in fact during the times when the background readings were recorded the plant was not in operation.”

RWE’s new application for a reserve generation peaker plant site has received a negative reaction from locals.

The site would house 10 containerised reciprocating gas engines, with a capacity of 19.9MW.

Almost 100 comments of objection have been submitted about its plans for the site.

Concerns about this application were vented at a heated public meeting in Markinch last month.