Dust and noise from Biggleswade building site has made life 'living hell' say nearby residents

Residents from mobile home site suffering from dust and noise of adjacent building site submit petition and call for compensation

By Euan Duncan, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 5th August 2022, 11:44 am

Dust and noise from a building site has made the lives of nearby Biggleswade residents “a living hell”, a meeting heard.

A petition highlighting their concerns over the Orchard Chase development in the town has been presented to Central Bedfordshire Council at an executive committee meeting.

Sandra Sparrow, who lives at the Stratton Park Drive mobile home site, likened it to “living in a fish bowl”, saying: “For 22 months we dealt with the site manager over the dust and the fence, but weren’t listened to and just fobbed off.

The Orchard Chase building site

“At the outset we asked for a high fence to protect us from building works. We were told before Christmas 2021 that a fence would be started in January. It wasn’t. Work started on this on July 13th.

“We were promised a higher fence to give us privacy. This hasn’t happened, as we’ve got the same six feet fence.

“The site is now four feet higher than our gardens, which have flooded in the last two years. That never happened before this work started.

“We complained about our washing on the line being covered in dust, and were told to wash it again as a packet of soap powder could be supplied. Everything we complain about is treated as a joke.

“This big construction site has made our lives a living hell. Our mental health is also affected. The dust is just horrendous.

“We’ve been let down by CBC’s planning department, which should have ensured we’ve a safe place to live during this construction,” she added.

“We feel we’re due some form of compensation to clean and paint our houses because there’s so much dust.”

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Conservative Caddington councillor Kevin Collins replied: “I’ve received information from yourself and asked the planning department for more details, part of which I’ve had, and councillor Hayley Whitaker has forwarded some material.

“I’ve also had a conversation with my colleague councillor Ian Dalgarno, whose portfolio includes the public protection element of this.

“So I certainly hear what you’re saying and understand your concerns. I’m more than happy to come out and have a look to see how we can move this forward.

“And I’ll properly collate all the information which has been put in front of me to see what we can continue to do to improve the situation,” added councillor Collins, the executive member for regeneration and planning.

“We’ll try to make sure you get some form of unified response, rather than different ones at different times from different people.”

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said:“We apologise to local residents for any disruption caused as a result of construction work at our Orchard Chase development.

“A range of mitigation measures are in place to keep the dust and noise impact to an absolute minimum. Some of these actions, such as road sweeping and watering, occur daily on site.

“We consulted the local authority about our approach and it confirmed Taylor Wimpey is doing all it can to minimise disruption to residents.”