SHIFT worker Dean Richardson’s sleep is being badly hit by noisy building contractors at Earnshaw Clough, Mossley.
Indeed, the 48-year-old former RAF serviceman with 28 years’ service says he slept better when serving in war zones.
“I have been shelled in Iraq and bombed in Afghanistan, but I can honestly say I slept better in those places,” he explained.
And the forklift truck driver has been driven to a personal protest against builders CPUK and Digway Environmental.
Dean has placed a placard in his front garden with a message to workers who he says have not heeded it.
The message reads ‘Please give peace (& quiet) a chance. Night worker trying to sleep. Inconsiderate constructors’.
With lorries and road cleaning vehicle continually thundering past his home, Dean claims it is nigh impossible to sleep during the day.
And he says the noise has become even more intolerable since piledriving on the site began a matter of yards from his home.
Dean, whose neighbours complained about the 36-home development in last month’s Correspondent, said: “I was trying to make a point as I and other residents were getting ignored.
“All I am asking for is for some consideration when I am trying to sleep during the day.”
Dean is also worried that the lack of sleep could become a health and safety issue.
“I work in a local warehouse driving forklift trucks and need to be careful and cannot afford to lose concentration through being tired,” he explained.
Residents have formed their own WhatsApp group in which they co-ordinate their complaints about the developer.
They have enlisted the support of Mossley’s Cllr Tafheen Sharif who organised a meeting with officials from Tameside Council’s planning, environmental health and highways departments. The residents were represented by Neil Consterdine.
Cllr Sharif persuaded to carry out a noise assessment that took place on Thursday, September 20 and is awaiting the results.
Steve Burke, managing director of CPUK, said: “As with any major construction scheme, some level of disruption is inevitable and we always work with local residents to mini-mise this.
“The full and proper democratic process has been followed for this housing development and we are working closely with the planning department and highways to ensure con-struction is carried out in the agreed way.
“We take our responsibilities as considerate constructors seriously and we are doing what we can, within the inevitable constraints of a building site, to minimise the impact of the works on the neighbours.
“There is a chronic shortage of quality new homes in this region and when construction has finished next summer these houses will provide good homes for local families.
“We are running the site in full accordance with all planning, health, safety and environmental regulations and, because of the neighbours next to the site, we have chosen to operate at a higher, self-imposed level in many instances.
“For example, we have a self-imposed maximum speed limit of 10mph for site deliveries on public roads in the local area; we have a strict road-cleaning regime in place and we have restricted our working hours, imposing a later start-up time than permitted within the approved planning conditions.
“We have also set up meetings with the local residents to communicate our plans and have at all times listened to their concerns and reacted courteously and positively to any issues raised.
“We expect our staff, sub-contractors and suppliers to act the same way and, if any residents have any issues relating to the site or personnel, they have been advised to contact the site manager who will deal with it promptly.”
Work began more than six months ago and the development is not expected to be completed for another year.
Residents have seen their quiet cul-de-sac off Micklehurst Road become the entrance to a busy building site as they claim the highway is unsuitable for heavy construction vehicles that often have to mount the pavement.
They contacted the Correspondent claiming they were unaware planning permission had been granted for the development.
Permission for the development was refused at Speaker’s Panel in July 2011, the application was re-submitted in December 2011 and went before Speaker’s Panel on December 21, 2011. The recommendation then was for approval because ‘new evidence’ had come to light.
As it wasn’t started in a three-year time span, it was re-submitted in 2015 and according to town councillor Ellie Shember-Critchley, the exact same application didn’t require public notification which is why residents were unaware of what had happened.
An Earnshaw Clough resident attended the most recent meeting of Mossley Town Council to voice her concerns about the planning procedure and also raised other issues.
She was also unhappy with access to the site, saying: “We are now on the edge of a huge building site on what was previously a cul-de-sac.
“We don’t object to houses being built but we do object to being used as the access to it.
“It is not suitable at all and I think that is one of the reasons why it was refused in the first place.
“When I bought my house in 2015 the road came up on my planning searches as an unadopted road and somewhere between 2015 and 2018 that road was adopted by TMBC without anyone’s knowledge.
“If it hadn’t been adopted they wouldn’t have been able to use it as an access road.
“We have been paying our land agents for the maintainence of that road because we had never been told it was adopted.
“I just do not know how this can happen without people who have lived there – me for three years and others for 10 years to have no knowledge of this whatsoever. I find it worrying.”
She also complained about lorries blocking drives and rudeness from builders.