Residents complain of noise from HMS Prince of Wales keeping them awake

Residents have complained of noise and pollution caused by the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales keeping them awake at night.

Neil Sutton, who lives in the converted Royal Clarence Marina in Gosport, Hampshire, has said the hum of the generators from the £3 billion warship is disturbing the peace for his neighbourhood.

The Prince of Wales is the second of two 65,000 tonne warships to be based at Portsmouth Naval Base which is just across the harbour from residential areas of Gosport.

Mr Sutton, 59, told the Portsmouth News: “No resident in this long stretch of waterfront can escape the sound of this ship, particularly at night time.

“In this time of national crisis and forced lockdown, when people are supporting the country and the NHS by staying at home in our flats and houses, why can we not open our windows and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the moment?

HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Prince of Wales

“Instead, we are bombarded by the noise and pollution of HMS Prince of Wales.”

Local councillor June Cully said that the issue had previously been raised by residents, particularly when the navy’s two carriers first arrived.

She said: “It’s like a hum, it is a large ship and noise does travel, some people have raised it as a concern with the naval base and the harbour master.

“Most people appreciate having the carriers here, but a way of working more reasonable hours would suit, but they are naval ships and we have to go according to their needs but it’s a balance that needs to be struck.”

Portsmouth Naval Base has installed a £13 million electricity station to power the carriers, but a Royal Navy spokesman said that the ships were still required to use their generators for limited periods.

He said: “Royal Navy policy is to provide shore power to all vessels which are alongside whenever possible, providing the lowest impact on the local environment.

“The MoD has invested more than £200 million creating the infrastructure within Portsmouth Naval Base to support the nation’s two vast aircraft carriers, including a new power plant to supply them with electricity.

“The carriers and the power plant remain on initial trials, and there will be occasions when the ships will need to use their own generators. These periods are always for the minimum amount of time necessary.”