POLLUTION fears were raised by Southwick residents and business during a record-breaking turnout to Shoreham Port’s annual stakeholders’ meeting.
It was standing room only as dozens of people flocked to join the gathering, at the Barn Theatre, in Southwick Street, last night (Tuesday, July 7).
The dust and pollution is so bad when the wind is coming from due south, that I have to sit in my office, in this temperature, with the door shut, otherwise I get a chest infection...Shoreham business owner
And after a brief introduction from chief executive Rodney Lunn residents soon turned their attention to issues concerning them.
The crux of the debate focused on dust and noise pollution woes surrounding the steelwork facility Parker Steel and the nearby aggregate company Dudman.
One resident, who has run a car dealership near Dudman for 32 years, felt not enough was being done by the company to reduce the level of dust being kicked up.
“It costs me £400 a week to keep my vehicles clean because of all the pollution,” he said. “In the last two years I have had six windscreens broken by the aggregate that comes out of the vehicles, which spills out.
“The dust and pollution is so bad when the wind is coming from due south, that I have to sit in my office, in this temperature, with the door shut, otherwise I get a chest infection and a sore throat especially sometimes when (Dudman) unloads cement.”
He told port executives that Dudman should abide by the site’s regulations which prevented work overnight.
Responding, Mr Lunn told the crowd the port has done as much as it could to limit the impact of operations.
“As the port authority, we could operate 24 hours a day if we wanted to,” he said. “Most ports around the UK operate 24 hours to remain competitive.
“Given the closeness of the community to us we’ve taken the decision to stop our operations at 10pm and recommence at 6am.
“Dudmans we don’t control – he owns his land, he is in control of his land. There is nothing that we can do.”
He urged people to approach environmental health, at Adur District Council and voice their concerns.
Another person complained about the level of noise coming from Parker Steel works, claiming work went on well into the night.
Mr Lunn told the audience the port was already taking steps to try to address this.
However, he felt some of the company’s responses to noise concerns were inadequate.
Mr Lunn intends to introduce noise monitoring equipment to assess the site.
Another one of the audience members asked if Parker Steel was a ‘nuisance’ to the port.
Mr Lunn said the steel works could do an ‘awful lot more’ to reduce noise output, particularly at night, by closing external doors.
One resident in Southview Road complained about the level of light pollution coming from the port’s three ‘archaic’ lighting towers, which she claimed were ‘lighting up the whole of Southwick’.
Tony Parker, director of engineering at the port, agreed they were an issue and explained that plans were in the pipeline to replace them with new, LED lights which would be ‘very directional’ and cut down on the light pollution across the local area.