Survey Background and Summary
Following commencement of Siemens-Gamesa operations, an online survey was conducted during summer 2017 to ascertain the perceived impact of the blade factory on local residents. The survey was distributed via several channels, including local resident groups. In total, there were 74 respondents. In general, there was seen to be little or no impact (from an environmental perspective) on local residents, particularly for those living on the adjacent Victoria Dock estate. There is some concern over noise and traffic, and not all appreciate the impact on their personal views of the Humber, but most respondents felt that the fabrication, assembly and use of wind turbines was good in respect of wider environmental impacts. Detailed responses are provided below. It should be noted that results give a general indication of the feelings of local residents during the initial operational phase of the blade factory, particularly those of the Victoria Dock housing estate. Given the low response rate, results should NOT be seen as indicative of the impact or general opinions of residents of Kingston upon Hull or the surrounding area.
Among other survey control questions, residents were initially asked whether the Siemens-Gamesa blade factory had had a positive or negative impact on their lives. For this question, impacts were described in several ways, ranging from increased civic pride, acquisition of a job or contract at the blade factory or, conversely, a loss of work or, perhaps, a reduction in the desirability or value of their homes. 41% of respondents stated that the facility had had a negative impact on their lives. 59% stated that the factory had had either no impact or a positive impact on their lives. 97% of those that perceived that the facility had had a negative impact on their lives were residents of the adjacent Victoria Dock estate.
Residents were asked whether they had noticed any changes to air quality since the blade factory became operational. 82% stated that they had not noticed a difference in air quality (see map and Air webpage).
Residents were asked whether they had noticed a change in average noise levels since the blade factory became operational. 35% of residents have not noticed a change in average noise levels in their community or noticed a reduction in average noise levels. 65% of respondents noticed an increase in average noise levels. Notably, 100% of these respondents lived in the Victoria Dock estate, adjacent the blade facility. For perspective, initial Victoria Dock noise pollution monitoring by KHCC suggests that average background noise levels in the area are below 50dB(A), i.e. a level of noise equivalent to a personal conversation or quiet office. Meanwhile, 99% of average maximum noise levels were found to be below 80dB(A), i.e. equivalent to the noise of a spinning washing machine or city centre traffic (see Noise Impact pages).
Residents were asked if they had noticed a change in the levels of traffic in their neighbourhood. 82% of respondents felt that traffic had increased. 48% of these believed there had been an increase in all forms of vehicle, e.g. private cars and commercial and heavy goods vehicles (please also see Traffic Impact).
Residents were asked what impact the blade manufacturing facility had had on the landscape of the city of Hull and the wider Humber scenery. 62% of respondents suggested that the impact of the site was negative and had reduced their view of the Humber. 96% of these individuals were residents of the Victoria Dock estate.
The survey concluded by ascertaining residents’ perception of the manufacture and use of offshore wind turbines. Residents were asked whether they thought the overall impact of wind turbines was good or bad for the environment or whether they needed further information to form an opinion. 60% of surveyed residents were of the opinion that the production and use of wind turbines had, overall, a positive impact on the environment. 15% of respondents perceived the overall impact of wind turbines to be negative.