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Aircraft Noise Monitor

For several years Gatwick Airport have run a programme of noise monitoring to get a better understanding of the levels of aircraft noise in the communities surrounding the airport.

Charlwood used to have a monitor and the nearest one now is at Rusper. A monitor placed within Charlwood would give valuable data on aircraft noise.

There are details below on what a noise monitor is and where would be acceptable. Ideally it should be within the residential heart of the community to accurately determine the impact levels of noise.

What is a noise monitor?

A noise monitor provides a method of monitoring and recording noise from both aircraft, and background sources. This allows us to evaluate trends and make comparisons between the noise environments at different locations.

Criteria for the location of new monitors

Because of limited noise monitoring resources we have set out protocol for the decision process on the placement of new monitors. The process and criteria are summarised below:

  1. When deciding where to locate monitors, our main aim is to achieve an equable geographical spread around the airport so that as many communities as possible are covered by the scheme.
  2. The map below shows the location of the current and previous noise monitoring sites.

Noise monitor site requirements

Firstly we need to identify a suitable location for a noise monitor. 

Below is advice on choosing an appropriate site:

  • A secure site in an open area - typically a back garden of a large house or farm.
  • Open access to the apparatus for the engineer (this would be on a weekly basis and not by appointment).
  •  Parking for the engineer within 50 metres of the apparatus as heavy loads may have to be carried to and from the noise monitor.
  • The site must be well away from any sound reflecting surfaces such as walls or fences etc.
  • It should ideally be in a south facing area to allow solar panels to be used.
  • The site should be in a reasonably quiet area away from noisy roads, railway lines or any other noise sources that may interfere with the monitoring of aircraft noise.
  • The site should be over flown by aircraft operating from Gatwick.
  • All requests received that meet the above criteria will be considered, however the final decision on placement is made the Noise and Track Monitoring Advisory Group (NATMAG), based on recommendations by the Gatwick Noise Monitoring Group (GNMG).
  • Please contact Charlwood Parish Council Clerk, or 01293 863848 if you think you have an area suitable for a monitor.

Charlwood Parish Council sets Council Tax for 2017-18

Once again it has proved to be particularly difficult to set a realistic council tax for the next financial year. With both Surrey County Council and Mole Valley District Council having severe budget constraints with cut backs in the government rate support grant, this is likely to result in further cuts to services such as highways & footpath maintenance, traffic calming, and litter management in our community. In addition, the play equipment in both Charlwood and Hookwood recreational areas are now well over 10 years old and require a significant level of maintenance to keep them in a good state of repair. The Parish Council have therefore taken the decision to undertake where necessary many of these essential tasks in order to maintain the high standard that we require for our communities and have set the precept accordingly.

At their January meeting, the Parish Council set the rate precept at £63,575 for the next financial year (2017-18) so that the necessary maintenance and new work can be carried out. With a slightly larger tax base of 1020.7, this represents a council tax of £63.30p for a band ‘D’ property.

In determining the precept a number of factors were taken into account.

  • It is anticipated that Mole Valley District Council will increase the concurrent spending payment by 21% for this financial year. The concurrent spending payment supports parish councils who have the responsibility for maintaining recreation grounds. Charlwood Parish Council has 2 such recreation grounds to maintain. The concurrent spending payment covers approximately 2/3rd of the expenditure.
  • For expenditure associated with administration, an allowance has been made to cover the additional work carried out by the clerk and for the professional fees associated with new audit regulations, HMRC and VAT recovery.
  • Although the threat of an additional runway at Gatwick has receded with the announcement of a 3rd runway at Heathrow, it has not totally gone away. The Council have therefore included £2,000 in the budget, as well as allocating a further £6,500 in its reserves to support possible further action against a second runway.
  • An increased level of maintenance is required for our play equipment in both the Withey and the Millennium Field which are now over 10 years old. A significant level of maintenance is associated with the wooden upright posts which are slowly rotting at ground level and have to be replaced periodically.
  • With cutbacks in the county/district budgets for footpath and verge maintenance, the associated maintenance work on our parish footpaths falls to the parish council. £5,000 has been included for care of verges and hedges around the parish including Rosemary Lane, Black Ditch and rights of way footpaths such as those leading to Glovers Wood etc.

Whilst the Parish Council regrets having to increase the rate precept, it should be noted that the total precept only represents around 2% of the total council tax.

M Needham – Chairman

P Barclay – Clerk to the council

Please use the 101 number when reporting any non-emergency matters to us by telephone. The old 0845 number is now permanently out of service. 01483 571212 can still be used if preferred. In an emergency always dial 999.