St Annes residents plagued by huge clouds of dust and 'horrendous' noise from neighbouring building site
People living on a street backing onto a St Annes building site are at their wits end due to passing costruction vehicles spraying huge clouds of dust and dirt into their gardens at all hours of the day.
Residents of Otley Road and Shepherd Road have been unable to open their windows or make use of their gardens for months due to an ongoing multi-million pound project to build hundreds of new homes on land at the former Department of Works and Pensions site.
Kevin Slater, 53, who has lived on Otley Road for 27 years, said: "For the past 12 months we have been fighting against the noise and the dust. We can't have windows open because if we open them the dust comes in - we have just had to throw away our curtains and a new pair of blinds. As soon as something comes past, your eyes and lungs are filled with dust, and it's so thick you can't breathe.
"The noise pollution is horrendous. Some of the machinery onsite are 36-tonne diggers, and the buckets they use to dig the ground up are 1 to 1.5 tonnes. When they change the bucket, they are dropping it from a height of 6ft, and you can feel it slamming onto the ground. You can see the cracks in the walls.
"We've had dirt thrown all over our windows. We actually thought one of the windows had come through, it hit it so hard.
"They're going to be working on this site for the next two years at least. It makes me very worried. We're feeling like second-class citizens. They're building big, £250,000 homes for well-off people, and we don't matter - we're just riff-raff."
Kevin and his wife Nikki are not the only Otley Road residents suffering as a result of the building work.
John Craven, 47, has COPD - a serious lung condition causing breathing difficulties - and says he has gone from one inhaler a month to three due to the plumes of dust around his home.
He said: “The dust is so bad it gets inside even when your windows are shut. My chest has gone from bad to worse.
“When I bought this house two years ago, I didn’t know this was going to happen. The machines are only eight metres away from the house. People are not happy, to put it mildly.”
Gloria McIntyre, 69, said: “Besides all the cracks that have appeared in the walls, the dust is horrendous. I suffer badly with asthma and I’m coughing constantly.
“If I could afford to move I would, but I can’t afford to move. My bedroom’s at the front of the house and every morning I’m woken up by the whole house shaking. All I want to do is sit down and cry.
“It gets so hot being shut in all the time. I can’t go in the garden. I can’t hang my washing out. It’s so frustrating.”
Tony Green, 49, said: “The plumes of smoke are horrendous. The cars, the garden - everything is thick with it.
“The shaking is unbelievable and they haven’t even started building yet. We’re all dreading it. The building shakes and the pots rattle with the vibrations. There’s cracks in the kitchen, cracks in the living room. It’s been like this for months.”
Residents say they have complained to Fylde Council, property developers Morris Homes, and Fylde MP Mark Menzies about the problems.
A Fylde Council spokesman said: "The Environmental Health Department is aware of complaints received by residents regarding the issues stated. Officers from this department have visited the site and witnessed the issue regarding dust. Officers have also been in contact with both the development engineer and the site manager in order to find a satisfactory resolution to the issue.
"It has been agreed that the track running next to Otley Road is not to be used until satisfactory water suppression has become available on site. This problem is further exacerbated by the lack of any recent rainfall and sandy soil."
A spokesman from Morris Homes said: “We are aware of the issue with dust at our development in St Annes and are taking measures with the council to better control it. We are also looking into concerns over the start time of works to ensure minimal disruption to local residents.”
MP MARK MENZIES SAID:
“I was very concerned to see the level of dust coming off this site. It is simply not acceptable for residents to live in these conditions; it causes a mess and is not good for anyone's health.
“I have written to the developer to ask for mitigation to be put in place to prevent further incidences, and I also wrote to Fylde Council to raise the matter with them and they have also contacted the developer.
“I want to see the developer take some appropriate action swiftly, such as the introduction of water sprays to dampen down the dust.”