"Everybody's just had enough" - Residents in Rastrick fed-up of disruption caused by housing development

Fed-up residents in Rastrick say they have had enough of the disruption and congestion being caused by building work on a new housing development.

By Tom Scargill
Monday, 6th December 2021, 10:06 am
The site at Delf Hill
The site at Delf Hill

Complaints by people living near to the development, which is not set to be completed until 2025, include thick dust covering their gardens and the exterior of their houses, loud noise and vibrations from building work and vehicles being parked thoughtlessly.

Tina Bellwood, who lives on The Hoods, said: "It's been badly managed from the outset. Residents, especially those on the boundary of the site, had not been informed before the work started.

"They illegally started work on residents boundaries before the Party Wall Act was issued and was only sent when neighbours complained when walls were made unstable.

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Residents at the site

"The site manager promised a newsletter to let neighbours to the site know what was going on and when - a badly written letter with only what they had done so far arrived six months later.

"Putting in flood prevention before the start of any works was part of the planning agreement. This did not happen until it had become a real issue and problem to residents properties, vehicles and pedestrians, which was over 12 months after work started.

"The new footpath from Dewsbury Road to New Hey Road is too steep, unstable material was used and parts include broken glass. Elderly dog walkers no longer use it.

"There has been mud on the roads and pavements, which aren't regularly cleaned and dust from drilling is all over neighbours gardens, garden furniture, windows and cars. Damping down is only used when residents complained.

"And there is inconsiderate parking all on the road on junctions and on green space/verges on Delf Hill. And allowing their contractors to block the right of way onto New Hey Road."

Victoria Thornton, who lives close to the site, said: "We only moved in in March and we were told there was an extensive plan to protect the properties from dust and the dirt and the noise.

"The dust was absolutely horrific, we can't have our windows open anymore, we couldn't sit in the garden. It was better in lockdown to be honest because at least we could sit in our garden, but since we've moved in we've not been able to because the dirt, the noise and the dust was so extensive.

"If I opened a window in the house, within an hour I could write names in it.

"They've had no thought for residents from the outset.

"They've got a bit better with timings but all the machinery would start at 7am.

"The noise is that bad I barely spend any time in the house anymore, I'm more or less at my mum and dad's all the time, and now they're doing it on Saturdays.

"I'm a midwife and I did work nights but I can't now because I can't rest during the day because of the noise levels.

"The dust has stained the PVC on our conservatory and has ruined out hot tub because it's dyed the white plastic, it's ruined the outdoor furniture.

"I know we're going to get dust but look out for us and we'll look out for you. We shouldn't be having to ring and say 'look at the amount of dust, can you go round with the bowser?'.

"The other week I had to tell them to stop what they were doing because the vibrations were that strong things were falling off the windowsills.

"It's stupid things like the towel rail and the toilet roll holder which are now loose, they don't come loose over nothing do they.

"They've not been considerate. We don't expect them to jump over the moon for us but we do expect bit of consideration.

"They've promised everything but nothing gets done.

"Everybody's just had enough. It's got to the point where enough's enough."

A Yorkshire Housing spokesperson said: “We understand that living close to building works can be disruptive. We work closely with contractors at all our development sites to make sure any disruption is kept to a minimum.

“We’d like to reassure residents that we have measures in place to minimise dirt, mud and dust in the areas surrounding our Rastrick site. This includes daily road sweeping, wheel washing, wet cutting and dust suppression. The team at the site also walk the surrounding roads twice a day to make sure dirt left by vehicles is kept to a minimum and our project manager also visits the site regularly.

“Calderdale Council have visited the site on several occasions to keep up to date with progress and have been happy with the steps we’ve put in place.

“It’s really important to us that we have a good relationship with residents who live near our developments, and we’d encourage anyone with any concerns to get in touch with us.”

Calderdale Council’s Corporate Lead for Planning, Richard Seaman, said: “The development at Delf Hill in Rastrick is being built by Yorkshire Housing in partnership with Engie.

“We’re aware of concerns raised by local residents about the work taking place on site and have been in regular contact with the developers to ensure that working practices are in line with those agreed as part of the construction management plan.

“As part of this work we have been provided with information about working hours on site as well as details of noise monitoring undertaken by the developer via an independent consultant – the results of which were found to be within acceptable parameters.”

Engie were contacted for comment but did not respond.