A MIDHURST pizza company at the centre of a noise row has applied for retrospective planning permission to keep the chilling equipment which is believed to be causing the problem.
Neighbours living close to the Pan’Artisan pizza company of Holmbush say noise from the industrial estate has been blighting their lives for more than two years.
One woman who said the noise was literally ‘driving me nuts’ has been forced to sell her house and move away because she could not stand the noise.
Others have banded together to form a residents’ association in an attempt to fight the noise, which has been described as ‘Chinese water torture’.
The planning application is for the retention of a process chiller unit with an adaption to reduce sound emission, together with plans to enlarge the supporting platform to house an acoustic enclosure.
The chiller, said planning experts acting for managing director of Pan Artisan Richard Jansen, is ‘vital to the occupier’s business’.
The unit, said Stapleton Consulting, when first installed, was operated to full capacity. But following concerns over noise emission Mr Jansen found it could be operated at a lower rate, reducing the noise level.
“To further mitigate against noise emission, temporary baffles were positioned to the perimeter of the support platform. This was only intended as a temporary solution and part of this application is to remove the baffles and install a bespoke sound attenuation kit.”
Jen Smith and her fiance Tim Stemp moved to their home in The Fairway in November 2011. They said the constant ‘monotonous whirring drone’ started a year later and goes on six days a week from 7.30am to after 8pm.
“I work from home and can’t concentrate because of the hoise,” said Jen. “We can’t sit in the garden. The noise grates on our nerves.”
The couple complained to Chichester District Council’s (CDC) environmental health team.
A CDC spokesman said a ‘comprehensive investigation’ was carried out and enforcement action was then taken because the chiller unit had been elevated without permission.
Mr Jansen told the Observer: “Like any responsible businessman, I am conscious I have neighbours and if we are creating a noise, we want to do something about it.”