IN last week's Falmouth Packet, there was a detailed response from Falmouth Wharves operators KML Ltd, following complaints from neighbours of excessive noise and pollution. This is the residents' reaction to the company's response.

I write on behalf of the affected residents of North Parade, Falmouth regarding the KML response (published in last week’s edition) to our "worries" concerning the company’s activities at Falmouth Wharf. We take issue with some of the comments made by KML’s spokesman.

Regarding our complaints of excessive noise and dust the spokesman stated: “We operate considerately and liaise with our neighbours”.

KML management obviously uses a dictionary to which the residents of North Parade do not have access. Far from being considerate the whole operation is extremely inconsiderate to their neighbours.

As I write (Friday, September 20) I can hear inside my apartment a continual rumbling of rock being roughly handled. This is hardly being considerate to the neighbours.

As far as liaison with local residents is concerned one email a week advising when rock will be delivered to the Wharf hardly constitutes liaison. The spokesman goes on to say “We have put in place measures to ensure that dust and noise is kept to a minimum”.

Occasional spraying of two patches of roadway with a domestic hosepipe is laughable. The clouds of dust blowing all along the houses of North Parade especially from the stockpile area are not only unsociable they are detrimental to health especially to those suffering respiratory problems such as asthma. The only water to have sprayed the stockpile area since it was brought into use a few weeks ago is rain – and we haven’t had much of that!

As far as noise is concerned the whole operation is far noisier than it was when the North Parade residents met with Diccon Rogers (the MD of KML) last December – a meeting arranged by Mrs Sarah Newton MP (she was unable to attend). At that meeting Mr Rogers belittled our grievances concerning noise, dust, light pollution and the fact that North Parade was never built to handle a significant number of heavy lorries carrying very heavy loads.

He claimed that post war the wharf was used for loading/unloading various cargoes that, were in those days, carried by lorries to and from the Falmouth Wharf. He appeared to fail to comprehend (or chose to) that the size of the 1940s lorries was significantly smaller than those currently serving the Wharf today, that their loads would have been significantly smaller than those carried for his operations, and that road traffic was almost non-existent in comparison to today.

Regarding stockpiling armour rock the KML spokesman says “The 1930s wharf was built so that goods could be stored ahead of loading as well as transported in and out of the wharf by road and water.” While that is not in dispute, we are sure it was never intended the Wharf would be used for the shipment of such large, unwieldy, rocks. Indeed, it is likely the Wharf was a Customs Approved Wharf (within the meaning of the Customs and Excise Act in force in 1930) and as such the approval would have stated what goods could legitimately be stored at the wharf.

In a recent conversation with Sarah Newton MP Mr Rogers stated the yard space is being used for the storage of stone to limit traffic movements, however, he omitted to state that the rock has to be handled several times more than if it was being delivered direct to the barges from the quarry. Each handling operation causes noise, dust and vibration all within a few metres of our homes. Far from limiting traffic movements this new modus operandi does not reduce the number of road deliveries to the Wharf by even one lorry.

Mr Rogers also stated “the wheeled loading shovel is a standard rock handling machine used in ports and quarries throughout the world”. We would all submit that the back gardens of the properties in North Parade hardly constitute a port or a quarry.

The KML spokesman goes on to say “We are pleased that through KML's current operations the Wharf is continuing to be used in the manner in which it was intended.” Where is the document that lays down what was intended in the 1930s? It is doubtful if the loading of armour rock was ever intended to be done at that time. The spokesman goes on to say “The Wharf has status as a designated minerals export hub.” Where is this designation laid down and by whom?

Mrs Newton has told residents that the issues surrounding Falmouth Wharf should be a matter for our local councillor to resolve. Unfortunately, the local councillor in question is Councillor Mathew McCarthy who has, it would appear, moved to a distant part of the county and does nothing to assist the constituents for whom he is supposed to be the Town Council and County Council representative.

Mrs Newton is our only other elected representative. She was asked last December to arrange a further meeting between KML and local residents; to date, despite numerous e-mails to her regarding the worsening situation at Falmouth Wharf, no action has been taken to arrange the requested meeting.

Peter Sudbury