The firm which runs Banbury's coffee factory has apologised for the noise coming from the plant which has been the source of complaints from across the town.
The loud noise emanating from the Jacobs Douwe Egberts factory has woken residents up at all hours of the night and many have complained about the disturbance on social media.
The company’s press spokesman Lindsay Wright issued an immediate apology and said technicians had been asked to inspect the equipment.
“The noise is coming from the factory. We know it’s from our machinery,” she said on Tuesday.
“It is a safety mechanism and it’s been there for 20 years. When the pressure gets to a certain point it releases the pressure through the valve.
“We know it’s very loud. Only today we found out about the complaints on social media, when the Banbury Guardian called to make us aware.
"We are investigating and we absolutely apologise.
“We have very strict proceedures to check equipment and we’re looking into the root causes of this.”
Emma Orton, who lives with her husband Steve in Booth Road, Hanwell Fields said she has started to wear earplugs to go to bed because of the noise.
“The first time I heard it I thought it was a helicopter or generator. I could hear it with all the windows closed,” she said.
“On December 12 I opened my bedroom window and took some video to record it.
"I think people in Ruscote and Hardwick must hear it much more than us. I’ve started wearing earplugs because it’s be going off at 3.30am in the morning.”
Mrs Orton said the noise from the factory on Ruscote Avenue sounds for 15 to 20 seconds at a time but this can be repeated for up to 20 minutes.
“I went shopping at the retail park on Tuesday and it was really loud,” she said.
“It went off at 8am on Christmas morning. I have complained to the council and done a noise pollution report.”
Residents all around Banbury joined a discussion about the noise on social media.
Contributors said they had heard the noise as early as 3am and others complained about hearing it at 5.20am.
One described the sound as ranging from ‘reasonable to ear-splitting’ and criticised housing being located near industrial development.
One said it had woken her children and others recommended using the district council’s noise app to record the sound to forward to the environmental health department for analysis.
The information gleaned helps officers to assess noise nuisances quickly.
In response to complaints, a spokesman for Cherwell District Council said: “Cherwell District Council is aware of issues with the steam safety relief devices at the Jacobs Douwe Egberts factory in Banbury.
“Officers responded immediately on receipt of a noise complaint.
The spokesman added: “The council is now in dialogue with factory representatives to resolve the issue and ensure it does not recur in future.”