A CONSTANT hum from two hospital generators is leaving a couple without peace.

University Hospital of North Tees has been home to two new generators since January this year as part of a £14m energy centre project to ensure it keeps running. 

But Gary and Gwen Kirby have had to listen to high-pitched whirr 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and they’ve had enough.

Wooden acoustic buffers have been installed on the side of the generator building – with panels now put around a separate green gas meter just yards from the couple’s home.

Mr Kirby said he’d been in contact with Stockton Council environmental health teams about the noise but was told it would have cost “thousands of pounds” for noise surveys.  And the 62-year-old didn’t think much of the panels designed to ease the sound.

He said: “It hasn’t actually made a difference – it depends how much gas they’re using, but you can hear the high pitched noise alongside it.

“You can imagine what it’s like 24/7 and it’s horrendous trying to sleep on a night. It’s ridiculous what they’ve done – right next to a domestic area.”

The former electrical engineer had to retire after critical heart failure took its toll. However, it means the noise is constant as he rarely leaves his Bevan Close home. Mr Kirby added: “I’m in all day, and even when I’m in the house you can hear it.”

It’s not the first time the energy project has raised the ire of some neighbours. An Earth mound built at the back of nearby Jenner Drive to ease the noise worries raised privacy concerns. 

And Cllr Norma Stephenson, member for Hardwick and Salters Lane, urged the trust to work with its neighbours after telling a Stockton meeting of “atrocious” levels of noise from the scheme.

The energy plant was upgraded to offer more reliable and environmentally power to the Stockton hospital and increase its lifespan.

A spokesperson for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS trust said the planning permission approved in 2016 included a requirement to achieve “stringent noise levels”.

He added: “The plant continues to be monitored throughout its first year of operational use and adjustments will continue, as required, to be made to meet our obligations.

“We’re aware of an issue raised by residents regarding noise levels and additional acoustic louvres are planned to be installed inside the main energy centre building before the end of January 2020.

“An additional 29 trees have also been planted as part of the approved soft landscaping scheme."