THE mystery surrounding a strange noise that is keeping people awake at night has taken a new twist.

Southampton residents say they are being plagued by the same sound that is making life a misery for people living on the eastern edge of the New Forest.

As revealed in yesterday’s Daily Echo, the low-frequency drone is causing sleepless nights in Hythe, Holbury and Dibden Purlieu.

One woman has resorted to visiting a friend in a bid to escape the din.

Another is said to be considering early retirement after being badly affected by the stress of living with the noise.

Now people living in Southampton and West End have come forward to report similar problems.

Gordon Windebank, 82, of Broadlands Road, Swaythling, said: “It’s driving me mad.

“It started with a low rumble about 18 months ago and has been getting steadily worse since last Sunday. I notice it when I go to bed at 10.30pm and it still seems to be going on when I get up the next morning.”

Mr Windebank has been prescribed sleeping pills by his doctor and says he may be forced to go back for more.

“The noise is terrible at night,” he said. “I’ve got double glazing but it just seems to go right through.

“It’s making me very bad tempered and I don’t seem to have any energy.”

The sound has also been heard in Romsey, but neither Test Valley Borough Council nor Southampton City Council have received any complaints.

New Forest residents affected by the all-night noise include Roger Guy, a member of Hythe and Dibden Parish Council.

Cllr Guy, who has an engineering background, said: “It’s a low frequency droning noise that becomes quite obtrusive at night.

“It tends to be worse inside buildings and is very disturbing to anyone with hearing attuned to low frequency sounds, particularly young people.”

Cllr Guy said the sound could also be heard during the day.

The district council has already received ten complaints about the noise, mainly from people in Hythe and Dibden Purlieu, and has joined forces with the Environment Agency in a bid to trace the source.

A council spokesman said an environmental health officer conducted noise monitoring in the Waterside area on Tuesday night.

Are you affected by the drone? If so contact Echo reporter Chris Yandell on 01590 613804.