Halifax residents being 'tortured' by year long humming noise

Yvonne Cooper, centre, who is organising a petition about the 'Holmfield hum'.Yvonne Cooper, centre, who is organising a petition about the 'Holmfield hum'.
Yvonne Cooper, centre, who is organising a petition about the 'Holmfield hum'.
Residents plagued by a low-frequency hum for almost a year say they are being “tortured” in their own homes.

Campaigners in Holmfield are at the centre of a noise nuisance they say is making their lives a misery.

The sound is almost always there in the background but it gets worse at night, keeping people awake. Residents are losing sleep and that’s affecting their mental health.

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The noise – dubbed the Holmfield Hum – has a radius of up to a mile-and-a-half and has been reported in Bradshaw, Illingworth, Mixenden, Queensbury and Thornton.

Yvonne Conner, 50, who has set up a Facebook campaign and a petition, said residents first noticed the hum last March but it had recently got much worse.

“It’s a pure noise,” said Yvonne. “It’s low frequency and you can hear it inside my house but not outside. It’s in every single room and I can hear it even with my hands over my ears, it seems to resonate through every room.”

Yvonne, who lives with partner Mark Reagan, 58, and son Liam, 25, said: “It’s affecting my life and there’s a lot of angry people. Our homes are like torture chambers.”

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Yvonne wakes up in the night and can’t drown out the sound even by playing music or wearing earphones.

Sleep deprivation has affected her health and she blames the stress for a bout of shingles. Before Christmas she even went to spend two nights in a hotel in the Lake District just to get some proper sleep.

Neighbours have complained to Calderdale and Bradford councils as the problem is somewhere on the border. Investigations have been carried out and two or three business premises have been identified as the possible source.

Residents say because the problem falls between Calderdale and Bradford, neither local authority wants to take responsibility.

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Another resident, Ian Taylor, has checked the sound levels at a local factory. Both he and his wife work in stressful school leadership roles and find they can’t relax at home.

Ian said: “There was one morning a couple of weeks ago when my wife was woken at 5.30am because the sound penetrated her earplugs.”

Neighbours have even been at loggerheads believing those next door are deliberating causing a nuisance to wind them up.

Another resident said: “It takes over your life. People are getting obsessed with it and it’s making them ill.”

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Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, Coun Scott Patient, said: “Investigations into noise coming from the Holmfield and Queensbury areas are ongoing. Complaints indicate that there are several noises from more than one location.

“Officers from Calderdale and Bradford councils have visited the area during the day, at night and at weekends, and are continuing to assess the situation.”

A spokesman for Bradford Council said: “Bradford Council is currently investigating the possible source or sources of the noise and assessing the effect it is having on our residents.

“We are aware of similar investigations in Calderdale and are keeping local residents and Judith Cummins MP updated on any developments.”