"We eat and sleep dust" Biggleswade homes plagued by 'horrendous' dust and noise problems from building site

Taylor Wimpey has apologised to mobile home residents affected by the building work

By Euan Duncan, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 15th July 2022, 3:01 pm
The site pictured near the start of construction work, in 2020
The site pictured near the start of construction work, in 2020

A developer has apologised to mobile home owners on a site in Biggleswade who complained about “horrendous” dust and noise problems from an adjacent housing project.

Work started on the Orchard Chase development, off Saxon Drive and Sorrell Way, two years ago, but the scheme is unlikely to be completed for another 18 months.

“We eat and sleep dust,” Sandra Sparrow, who lives at the Stratton Park Drive mobile home site, told a Biggleswade Town Council meeting. “It sticks to our houses, windows, cars and has ruined furniture.”

Residents with asthma, or heart and chest problems have difficulties, according to Ms Sparrow.

“We’ve been to the site manager,” she explained. “I’ve written letters to various agencies. We’ve no fences at the bottom of our gardens, so no privacy. The diggers are parked at the back. The noise levels are horrendous.

“The workers are doing their best, but they’ve urinated on the site in front of us, which is totally out of order. We’ve told Taylor Wimpey about this and nothing comes back to us.”

Mayor Grant Fage said: “The town council has no responsibility for enforcement over housing developments. We can make representations to Central Bedfordshire Council.”

Independent Biggleswade South councillor Hayley Whitaker added: “We need to step up and support these residents.

“We’ve had enforcement and environmental health officers out multiple times. We didn’t put the right planning conditions on that application, so they’ve a mesh fence.

“The planning condition only says dust suppression on the roads. That doesn’t allow us to enforce anything. The same horrendous dust problem is affecting Sorrel Gardens residents.”

Town councillor Rob Pullinger said: “We objected to this application because of insufficient space between this development and the mobile homes.”

Read More

Read More
Former Biggleswade coach operator and town mayor Charles Cook celebrated in new ...

Conservative Biggleswade North and town councillor Ian Bond explained there was a construction management plan for the development, and “clearly this hasn’t been adhered to, so I’ll keep on pursuing this”.

Councillors agreed to write to CBC environmental health and planning enforcement with all the evidence available.

A Taylor Wimpey spokeswoman said:“We apologise to local residents for any inconvenience caused by ongoing work at our Orchard Chase development.

“We’ve measures in place to control the levels of noise and dust, which are regularly monitored in line with our planning conditions. We’ll continue to keep any disruption to a minimum and thank residents for their ongoing cooperation.”

A compliance officer from CBC visited the development recently and confirmed that Taylor Wimpey is doing all it can to control the dust.

“All roads on the development are watered down every day and a daily road sweeper is in place,” she added. “The team on site is using a water cube in between sweeps to keep dust to a minimum. Taylor Wimpey will investigate any issues reported to the company over inappropriate site conduct.”

A CBC spokeswoman said: “We’re aware of a number of issues residents have raised about this site. To date, we’ve not identified a breach of planning control. But the council’s planning enforcement and public protection teams are making further inquiries.”