Somerset

Earplugs to combat Hinkley Point C construction noise

Excavators at work on the Hinkley Point C site
Image caption The construction noise from the site has been described as "24/7" and "very obtrusive"

People living near the site of a new nuclear power station are set to be given earplugs to block out the noise of "24/7" construction.

A £2,640 grant to pay for "bespoke earplugs" for residents near Hinkley Point C in Somerset has been approved by the local council cabinet.

Energy firm EDF has already paid for new double-glazing in some homes.

But councillors said outdoor noise was "very obtrusive" and further measures were needed.

EDF began moving heavy machinery onto the site at the beginning of January.

'Noise issue'

It said excavation work to prepare the ground for the new plant will involve removing the equivalent of four Wembley Stadiums-worth of soil.

West Somerset Councillor Sue Goss, who proposed the earplugs, said the noise was "24/7" and "very obtrusive" but developers EDF Energy said it was within the required limits.

"EDF has acknowledged there is a noise issue in the hamlets closest to the site by providing double glazing to all affected properties," she said.

"Unfortunately the double-glazing doesn't extend to the outside of people's properties, where the noise is very obtrusive."

'Beyond requirements'

But an EDF spokesman said the firm monitored and controlled site noise levels "very carefully" and has complied with the limits placed on it.

"We have developed a package of measures to support our neighbours during the construction of Hinkley Point C and these go well beyond statutory requirements."

The measure, which is recommended for approval, will go before a full council meeting next week.

If approved, funding for the earplugs will come from a fund set up by EDF for local residents.

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