Anti-noise fence proposed for Northampton village is half the height of M1 embankment

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A house building firm has proposed blocking noise from the M1 in Northampton with a fence that is just half the height of the motorway embankment.

The plan has been highlighted in a last ditch letter by a Collingtree campaigner asking the Government to sink plans for a 1,000 home estate nearby.

Nigel Mapletoft, a retired engineer, claims that one edge of the development will be so close to the M1 that the noise will be intolerable.

And he said Bovis Homes’ mitigation measures of a three metre high fence cannot be effective.

He said: “The M1 beside the site is on top of a five or six metre-high embankment.

“The traffic noise would merely fly over the top of any acoustic barrier.”

Mr Mapletoft also claimed that the spot where noise readings were taken - to assess what measures are needed were taken behind leylandii hedges and artificial berms on the nearby golf course.

He said: “Any fence would only be maintaining the status quo; it wouldn’t reduce the noise at all.”

The homes application has already been rejected by Northampton Borough Council but is being appealed by Bovis. If the Secretary of State upholds the appeal in August, it could cost the tax payer hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The Chron has previously reported that Bovis’s application advised any future residents to keep their bedroom windows shut to keep out the sound of motorway traffic .

But it also admitted that inside temperatures could therefore get as high as 26 degrees C - eight degrees C over the Government’s maximum recommendation

Mr Mapletoft said: “It means that the poor residents of these houses would suffer from either insomnia due to excessive noise if they try to sleep with their windows open, or insomnia due to sleeping in a ‘sauna’.”

A Bovis spokesman said the firm was confident it has addressed each issue: “We presented to the inspector at a public inquiry in January all relevant evidence to rebut the council’s reason for refusal on this matter and demonstrate that the proposal for housing on the site was satisfactory.”