FOR the past three years my neighbour in St Ives has been tormented by a whining noise throughout her house.
During the day it is partially masked by external noise but by 10.30pm the volume seems to increase (or becomes more noticeable). During the early hours it goes into a short thunderous phase as if there has been a power surge, then the whining returns.
The householder has tried everything she can think of to overcome this problem. She has complained to the district council several times and a local councillor.
Even though she is a pensioner with limited resources, she has sacrificed some of her savings to have the boiler, all other plumbing, the electric wiring, all household appliances and the structure of her house checked by experts for faults.
Once the noise increases during the evening she turns off all appliances for the night and the central heating, even during the winter.
A street light outside her house was turned off for one night by the agency responsible in case it was the source of the problem, but to no avail.
It has been suggested by some of the people consulted that she might be simply suffering from a hearing problem or be particularly sensitive to high pitched sounds. However, a hearing specialist has examined her and concluded that she does not have a hearing problem.
I was outraged to learn that some of the officials consulted dismissed her complaint by making fun of her while suggesting that the noise was totally imagined. She has several independent witnesses of different age groups to support her complaint, including myself.
I can hear the noise, which is not particularly bothersome at first, but I can attest that after an hour it becomes so irritating that I am desperate to get away from it. I cannot imagine living with it day after day.
At last she has achieved a breakthrough. She has been advised that the noise is almost certainly sound waves caused by a mobile telephone mast situated on the outdoor recreation centre site. It has been there for some time but interestingly was upgraded at the time the 'whine' commenced.
During 2010 she wrote to our Member of Parliament but he was not able to help. In view of the latest development, she sought and was granted an interview last week.
Mr Djanogly proposed that he might be able to find an authority that could look at the problem but that the best advice he could give her was to sell her house. His staff also gave her advice: that she should spend another large sum of money having her house and everything in it checked all over again.
So, effectively, this poor lady is no further forward, and the misery continues. Her house is no longer a home, she suffers constant sleepless nights, paid public servants cannot or will not help her whether or not they accept that her complaint is valid.
Can any of your readers suggest a solution other than those already tried?