Markinch residents demand urgent Council action over biomass power station noise

Data published by RWE confirms persistent breaches of planning conditions

– For immediate release –

13th August 2018 – Markinch residents are demanding urgent action from Fife Council, after new documents submitted by RWE reveal that noise levels from the biomass power station persistently exceed the limit imposed by planning conditions [1].

Today, a joint letter by the Markinch Residents’ Noise Forum [2] and the environmental non-profit organisation Biofuelwatch [3] has been sent to all Fife Councillors, urging them to ensure that the Council commences action to enforce the noise planning condition [4].

Residents have previously had complaints about unacceptably high noise levels dismissed as ‘wrong’ and ‘unproven’ by both RWE and the Council, despite one of the persons affected having carried out her own noise monitoring over two years, which revealed noise levels far above the 45 decibels allowed by the planning consent.

Markinch resident Lorna Ross states: “Since 2014, people living in Prestonhall, Mount Frost and Cadham have seen their quality of life and in some cases their health affected by noise from the biomass power plant. Fife Council must stop ignoring RWE’s flagrant breaches of planning conditions and act to protect the local community”.

Almuth Ernsting from Biofuelwatch adds: “It is crystal-clear that the Council is responsible for enforcing all of RWE’s planning conditions, i.e. for ensuring that noise levels do not exceed 45 decibels, be it during the day or at night. Enforcing this planning condition is clearly in the public interest. Affected communities need action now.


[1] The data referred to is contained in the Environmental Noise Assessment submitted by RWE as part of its application for planning consent for a new gas peaker plant adjacent to the biomass power station. It states that average noise levels during normal power station operations between 7 and 8am are 49.9 dB at Cadham Road, 51.1 dB at Prestonhall Avenue, 49.4 dB in Mount Frost:

[2] The Noise Forum is an informal association of residents in Prestonhall, Mount Frost and Cadham who are affected by noise from RWE’s power station.

[3] Biofuelwatch is a UK/US non profit organisation which researches and campaigns against the negative impacts of large-scale bioenergy.

[4] A copy of the letter is available on request from