Making waves as sea work shakes

Residents living close to Fleetwood's sea wall at Rossall have raised concerns about the impact heavy work on the coastal defences could be having on their homes.

Wednesday, 23rd August 2017, 3:12 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:59 pm
Digger moving rocks to form sea wall at Rossall

The main work on the £63m million Rossall project is scheduled to finished in November and is seen as a vital scheme aimed at protecting 7,500 homes from flooding.

But some residents are unhappy at the level of vibrations shaking their homes.

And one of those raising concerns is ironically a resident who has campaigned over the years for better coastal protection from flooding, former Wyre councillor Keith Riley.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Work on the sea wall at Rossall.

Mr Riley, 79, of Marine Parade, Larkholme, is so concerned he has written to Wyre Council, the body responsible for overseeing the construction of the wall.

Coun Riley said this week: “Wyre Council have effectively told me they cannot guarantee that my home will not be damaged by the work being carried out.That is very worrying and if that situation was presented to any planning committee, it probably wouldn’t get through.”

Mr Riley said his concerns were recetly made worse when salt and pepper cruets in his kitchen bounced up and down on his table, while nearby neighbours said an upstairs dressing table has been shaking.

But Wyre Council has sought to reassure residents that vibrations are not as serious as they seem and are part of any major construction process.

Sheila and David Morris with Keith Riley (right).

The council insists everything is being done to ensure any concerns from residents are accounted for regarding the sea wall construction, being undertaken by contractor Balfour Beatty.

Mr Riley, a former mayor of Wyre and Fleetwood Flood Association member, said: “I know this is important work to protect homes in Fleetwood and that is welcome, but it would be very ironic if work intended to protect houses ended up damaging them.

“My main concern is the speed of the truck flying along Fairway and the speed which these huge caterpillar vehicles are rumbling along near the seawall.

“I would say there is an urgent need to slow these vehicles down and a need to do a survey of residents to see what experience they are having, and more effective monitoring of where the heavy work is actually happening, which I don’t believe it happening.”

Work on the sea wall at Rossall.

David and Sheila Morris, also of Marine Parade, have voiced similar concerns

Mrs Morris. 63, said: “The upstairs furniture is literally been shaking of late and we had to fix some cracks in the plastering.

“When we have raised this with the council, one of them said we should take it up with a solicitor, which isn’t very reassuring.”

A Wyre Council spokesman said: “Large construction sites such as the seawall works a Rossall can cause a disturbance and inconvenience to local residents.

Sheila and David Morris with Keith Riley (right).

“Vibration in particular is a common complaint adjacent to construction sites as it can be felt by the human body, and can cause rattling of personal property when it is at relatively low levels.

“Consequently is often perceived to be much worse than it actually is.

“In order to minimise this the council, as local planning authority, set out strict limits for noise and vibration levels as part of the planning conditions for the scheme.

“Our Contractor Balfour Beatty must adhere to these limits and therefore sets out noise and vibration monitoring equipment every day.

“This is usually at the boundary of the property nearest to the construction activity likely to cause the highest levels of noise and vibration.

“We have a second set of equipment which can be used at an additional location if required. The results are recorded and kept as a permanent record on site.

“Following Mr Riley’s complaints, noise and vibration monitoring equipment has been located adjacent to his property on a number of occasions to specifically monitor levels in this area.

“To date the levels recorded have fallen well short of anything that would be considered as nuisance.

“Our engineers have liaised with Mr Riley on a number of occasions over this matter and he has previously been provided with copies of the monitoring results.”