Wellingborough housing development work continues to cause sleepless nights

Residents of a Wellingborough residential estate say that they are having their nights ruined by roadworks taking place for a nearby housing development.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 6:00 am

Construction on 'ultra' site Glenvale Park began two years ago with preparations for the groundwork including clearing vegetation and cutting down trees along some parts of the A509, Niort Way, including alongside homes on adjacent Chatsworth Drive.

In May, Whitemountain moved on to the site and work to alter the layout of the road began in early September to reconfigure the Gleneagles Way - Niort Way junction.

Resident Lora Lawman, who is currently recovering from a major operation on her knee, said: "I can hear the noise all night. The vehicle reversing bleeps wake me up and I'm deaf enough to need hearing aids which I don't wear in bed.

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Lora Lawman is recovering from a knee operation

"It is very inconsiderate for the neighbours especially those who live in Chatsworth Drive.

"They were working on Sunday which I don't believe they are permitted to do."

Mrs Lawman has been contacted by residents on the Gleneagles estate who have complained about verges being churned up by construction vehicles, the loud noise and lights shining into their bedrooms.

One resident of Chatsworth Drive, who did not wish to be named, said: "It's been an absolute nightmare. We have looked at the planning and there are about 1,000 documents.

Glenegales Way at its junction with Niort Way

"Our neighbours rang up the planners and asked them what they were doing for the existing residents and they said 'we have no obligation to existing residents' regarding the development.

"There must about 18 houses who actually back on to Niort Way. It would not take much to go round to each house to speak to everyone.

"It does comply to the rules and regulations of planning law but with a development of this scale it would have been good if they'd talked to us."

Work has been continuing on the changes to Niort Way which runs adjacent to houses in Chatsworth Drive.

"The resident said: "It's just got worse and worse. They had a vibrating road roller and I had things falling off the shelves. The radiators were rattling.

"They've put the new road in and it's about 3 metres closer. It's not a slip road but it's a four-lane highway. Last Saturday it came to a complete crescendo. Our bath water was vibrating because they were trying remove a manhole by hitting it with a hydraulic pecker."

The Glenavale Park development has outline planning permission for 3,000 homes, shops, a community centre and schools.

Mrs Lawman added: "What we would like to have is a liaison group with representatives from Whitemountain and Northants LLP [the developers], some assurances that they will replant the screening trees, adequate road signs and that construction vehicles park where they are supposed to."

Resident of Chatsworth Drive, Jill Ashwell whose house back directly on to the newly adjusted carriageway. Her and her husband, Mike, have been asking for trees and bushes that were removed nearly three years ago to be replaced.

She said: "The worst part of it was the light from the roadworks that was straight into our bedroom for five nights.

"A liaison group would be a step. The frustration is that no-one will take ownership of the problem. They just keep passing it around. Whitemountain have said it's nothing to do with them. I can't get through to highways.

"I'm getting a quote for laurel plants to be planted the other side of our fence but we don't know who owns the land and who can give permission."

A spokesman for Wellingborough Council said: "The road is being constructed in accordance with the approved reserved matters consent and the S278 highway agreement agreed with NCC.

"The residents were consulted on the original reserved matters consent reference WP/14/00480/REM in August 2014 and the currently outstanding amended reserved matters application reference WP/18/00188/REM on 9 April 2018 and 21 October 2019.

"Residents are consulted by letter if their properties abut application sites or lie within their vicinity, site notices are posted and public notices are published in the local newspaper.

"The agreed construction environmental management plan confirms that works on Sundays and bank holidays would not take place. However, there may be occasions when works are carried out, these would be agreed with the local highways authority, the council and local residents would be notified in writing and a reason for the works would be given."

A representative from Whitemountain has been in contact with the Northants Telegraph and Mrs Lawman to arrange a meeting with the paper and a residents' representative.