Politicians’ efforts lead to noise survey at military testing site.

The work of Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards and AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas on behalf of residents concerned with noise levels from bomb testing at the military site in Pendine, Carmarthenshire, has taken a leap forward this week.

Residents of the Ferryside and Llangain communities are affected by the noise levels of the testing with some complaining of vibrations in their home. Residents have formed the STIFLE (St. Ishmaels fights large explosions) action group to campaign for the testing of the bombs to be redirected.

Over the past few months Mr. Edwards has made a series of representations to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as well as presenting a petition against the noise levels from the St. Ishmaels community. Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas has also questioned First Minister, Carwyn Jones AM.

In the latest round of correspondence, the MoD has acknowledged the increase in trials and training activities over the past eighteen months and that some of these activities have approached the strict noise limit in place. As a result of Mr. Edwards’ representations, the MoD will now make arrangements with the range operator, QinetiQ, for an independent comprehensive noise survey to be undertaken at the Pendine range and in its vicinity. The MoD has said its aim is for this work to be placed on contract this summer.

Mr. Edwards said he welcomed the commitment to undertake the noise survey and hoped the independent analysis of the noise levels would quantify the experiences of his constituents. He also stressed the importance of noise level testing being carried out in the Ferryside and Llansaint areas, as these communities are not protected by any sort of land buffer.

Jonathan Edwards said:

“I welcome the commitment of the UK Government to undertake a comprehensive noise
survey at the testing range and I am pleased my representations have lead to this action.

“Given the number of representations made to me, I hope the independent analysis of the levels will enable the MoD to properly quantify the experiences of my constituents.

“Despite this commitment, I have this week made further representations to the MoD seeking confirmation that noise levels will be analysed in and around the Llansaint and Ferryside communities. These communities are not protected by any sort of land buffer to shield against noise or vibration coming from the military activities.

“Any survey which doesn’t include these communities will not be worthwhile doing”.

Constituency colleague, Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas added:

“The commitment from the MoD to conduct a comprehensive noise survey demonstrates that irrespective of whether a policy is devolved to the National Assembly, a concerted effort, such as the joint work between Jonathan and I, can lead to positive steps forward”.

Notes to editors:

In a letter to Jonathan Edwards MP, the UK Government’s Minister of State for Defence Personnel Welfare and Veterans, The Rt. Hon. Andrew Robathan MP, said:

“I acknowledge that a greater number of trials and training activities than usual were conducted at Pendine over the past eighteen months, some of which have approached (but not exceeded) the limits….

“…The Ministry of Defence and QinetiQ are making arrangements for a comprehensive noise survey to be undertaken at the Pendine range and in its vicinity, by an independent specialist. The aim of this survey will be to provide a thorough understanding of the impact of noise generated at the range….”

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