MINUTES OF MEETING 31st AUG. 2018
Planning Ref. 17/5573C Alderley Gate Development, Bloor Homes.
Meeting arranged at THE LAURELS, GIANTSWOOD LANE, HULME WALFIELD, CONGLETON
10.30 a.m -12 noon
PRESENT: Julia Davenport (JD) Representing Bloor Homes-Technical Director Scott Grady (SG), Contract Manager Karl Allen (KA), Site Manager Steve Oliver(SO).
BACKGROUND TO MEETING. An e.mail 5th July sent from JD to KA copy to Julie Mason (JM) P.C. with continuing issues and concerns re above development. A brief reply was received from K A to the 7 points raised. This prompted a reply from the PC after discussion at July PC meeting, to Rhys Nicholson (RN), Regional Director of Bloors on 18th July stating the answers were considered inadequate and quoted points from the Considerate Constructors code of practice and other issues. A delayed response was received from RN on 24th Aug stating that although not affiliated to the above code of practice, Bloors had a commitment to the importance of consideration to neighbours and agreed to set up a meeting.
A further email of issues was sent by JD to KA, Sue Orrell, Head Cheshire East Planning, Brenda Lomas (BL) Cheshire East Enforcement Officer for Public Protection & Health, RN, copy to JM, Parish Council. R N replied to state that JD concerns had been discussed by Bloors Management and a meeting should be set up at The Laurels to discuss the points and issues in detail with JD in situ.
Access to Resident’s Boundaries
As there has been no access under resident ‘s covenants for over a year( May 2017) and this situation could continue for a further year or so, JD proposed that two occasions could be arranged for residents to see what repairs, work and maintenance is required at their neglected boundaries.
Action. This would be looked into by Bloors in due course as it would require the safety barrier fence to be relocated approx 2-3 Mts back from boundaries. Top soil bund restricts this at the present time.
A scaffold gantry was erected on 25th July approx 10 mtrs from residents boundaries across 6 homes. This has a walkway along the top deck and caused concern with resident’s privacy in gardens thru’ the summer as their gardens/homes are overlooked.
Action. See explanation for this gantry in Action below.
The discarded aluminium security fencing is brought by the diggers and tipped and crushed in the large skips positioned by the above mentioned gantry. The small skips across the site are also brought by diggers and tipped into the large skips. This operation occurs several times a day and has been noted as early as 7.30am. On occasion the whole skip has dropped into the large skip. It has been likened to a car breakers yard by visitors and passers by in the area.
Action As all rubbish from the site is strictly monitored and wrong items in wrong skips would be charged to Bloors under H&S and recycling laws, the gantry for observation and checking has had to be erected. The early start was apologised for. JD also was told that other early start noise on site MAY not always be from Bloors site. The now ex Fairmill car business down on the A34 has obtained planning for approx 14 homes and their private contractor can start work on site from 7am. The sound travels across from this area of the A34 and can be heard across at the elevated position of Giantswood Lane.
A large yellow caterpillar plant with larger capacity for moving the sand, fairly new to this site, has been moving vast sand and soil heaps close to residents boundaries at 3 Metres distance, particularly near The Laurels and Sandhurst boundaries. On 4 consecutive days, no conversation could take place in gardens of week beginning Aug 27th due to noise level. The operative was wearing ear protectors but standard ear plugs had no protection by residents. This noise also reverberated through the home of JD (The Laurels) and a meeting had to be cut short at her home. A legal duty of care was mentioned in the e.mail from JD .
Action. No solutions was discussed to this matter. JD expects that ear protectors will be provided for any similar work eg.the eventual dismantling of the sand dune in question if the same plant machinery is used. There had been no advance notification to residents of any of this type of work commencing.
Throughout the dry summer months this has been a huge problem for residents. As well as continuous blown sand dust from sand heaps during the exceptional dry summer, the tracking vehicles and diggers also produce clouds of sand dust when manouvering and tipping across the site. The large tip area used historically for the dumping of farmers asbestos, engines, oil and possibly biological matter etc has been excavated out through July and Aug. Concern has arisen when residents have noted the coarse sifting of this by diggers and shaking the substrate loose from the baskets before tipping larger particles for a hand search with operatives wearing ‘forensic’ white and recently red protective disposable wear. Residents require assurance that blown sand/soil exposure to contaminants has not occurred. Sand has been noted by some residents in their mouths, covering cars and has blown into the system sensors of the plant house of JD preventing the function electronically of ventilators and rain sensors.
Action. JD had assurance that contaminated waste had been contained in covered skips and the protective clothing was a precautionary matter . Some damping down of sand dunes had occurred but it had dried out immediately in the heat. B L ( Ches East Public Health) had e.mailed JD to inform her of a visit to several homes on Walfield Ave and Marton Close in response to residents’ complaints. Their concerns will be dealt with under Congleton Town Council, not under HW parish Bloors agreed that a repair of JD’s plant house electronic devices could eventually be rectified.
Vibration and Piling.
Excessive vibration from the site occurs on top of general site activity and is experienced in varying degrees in residents’ homes. As the vibration was so excessive at times at The Laurels with underground rumbling through the floor, JD was concerned and contacted BL (Ches East Public safety) to arrange monitoring. Cheshire East have no noise or vibration monitoring equipment and JD was advised to seek her own monitoring for ongoing site activities vibration. Bloors had previously stated that they would probably monitor any imminent piling, but damage had never occurred on any other of their development sites. JD contacted various Companies and obtained a vibration monitoring equipment for purchase quote and also a hire and interpretation report quote for base line monitoring in The Laurels for reference prior to piling.
Action. All parties present discussed the vibration monitoring and it was agreed that Bloor Homes would arrange a house condition inspection at no cost to residents. Although piling was to commence from week beginning 3rd Sept the survey would be a base line future reference
A letter was delivered by hand to residents on the same afternoon following this meeting re. the option of a house condition inspection. This would take place week commencing 3rd Sept and at short notice, would overlap with the start of piling. Bloors had Giantswood Lane (rural) swept by their own contractor on Fri also.
Minutes Julia Davenport