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Mystery humming noise from 'Paignton Zoo' has given residents sleepless night

By Herald Express  |  Posted: August 19, 2014

Noise annoys

Comments (5)

CLAIMS that Paignton residents are having their sleep disturbed by a humming or droning noise coming from the giraffe house have been denied by Paignton Zoo.

Peter Thorne, of Brantwood Drive, Paignton, has, along with 20 other residents, handed in a petition to Torbay Council asking them to ask the Zoo to soundproof a oil gas boiler in the giraffe house that they believe is causing the humming or droning sound.

This low frequency noise has been disturbing residents since the autumn of last year and it can apparently still be heard at present, but the Zoo have confirmed to the Herald Express that the boiler has been turned off for weeks.

However, Mr Thorne, who handed in the petition last Thursday, has said: "I am very tired. The noise is still there. I am being disturbed in the night and am being kept awake by this. It is a humming or droning noise that at times it can be quite loud. It has been going on since October/November since last year."

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A low frequency noise is generally taken to mean noisebelow a frequency of about 100 to 150 Hz and can go down as far as 20 Hz, and Mr Thorne has stated that he is able to hear the noise at the lower end of the frequency.

"Whenever I am indoors at my home I can hear the noise, but I cannot hear it when I am not at home, so I know it is not just my hearing," he added.

"We are asking the council to ask to the Zoo to soundproof the boiler. I am happy for the zoo to use the boiler providing that the noise is kept to a minimum and the boiler is professionally soundproofed. It would be the civil and neighbourly thing to do."

A spokesperson for Paignton Zoo responded by adding: "Mr. Thorne came to us earlier this year with concerns about a persistent low-level sound that he alleged that he could hear.

"Being good neighbours we have worked with Mr Thorne to attempt to track down the source, with zoo staff going out of their way to check on things at different times of the day and night. Staff from both the Zoo and the Environmental Health Dept. of Torbay Council have been unable to hear or locate the sound.

"If it exists the sound does not come from Paignton Zoo’s premises. We hope that Mr. Thorne is able to sort out his problem very soon."

Torbay Council have as of yet not commented.

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  • IvyGreene  |  August 28 2014, 3:51AM

    Take a look at the "World Hum Map" web site. There are thousands of people worldwide that are having serious problems with low frequency noise. You can also read accounts of noise disturbances that are very similar to the description given by Mr. Thorne. The good news for Mr. T is that he is not alone. The bad news is that this is a world wide phenomena that is really affecting people in a very bad way and the source has not been identified, be it local or global.

    |   1
  • BlackSuzuki  |  August 20 2014, 6:45PM

    tinnitus !!

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  • whitehonkey  |  August 20 2014, 3:13PM

    The only droning I can hear comes from Mr Thorne,move away and give the zoo a break, perhaps his hearing aid battery is running down.

  • Bubblybabs92  |  August 19 2014, 10:20PM

    I hear noise in early hours sounds like a motorbike riding round for ages other times it sounds like roadworks or some maintenance work then other times a engine going

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  • Anthony1  |  August 19 2014, 2:00PM

    It must be that the giraffes are having choir practice ! Seriously, such noises can be extremely annoying and the source needs identifying and rectifying ASAP.