Families living next to a South London construction site say their lives are being made hell by loud building work that stop them sitting in their gardens. Residents of Hothfield Place in Southwark also say lorries working on the Canada Water Masterplan development make their homes shake so badly their doorbells ring.
Locals say their windows and cars are caked in dirt from construction work and are fed up with nosey builders snooping on their homes. Some residents are even afraid to open their doors in case rats, that they claim have been disturbed by the building work, sneak into their homes.
Resident Alan Murphy said lorries heading to the building site in Rotherhithe were so loud they set off his doorbell. He said: “The lorries beep at other lorries they pass and it sets off my Ring doorbell – it’s so loud. They’ve knocked my car and they’ve had other neighbour’s cars as well.
“My wife has to use a mobility scooter and when the lorries reverse they don’t see her. They say they’re allowed in the cul-de-sac but there are signs saying they’re not. They [British Land] offered us the world when they came here before the work started and we’ve not seen them again. We said ‘put gates up because we know you’re going to impact us’ and they said ‘yeah we will talk about it nearer the time.’ Now they’re saying it’s ‘not in our gift.’ But what have they gifted us?”
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(Image: Robert Firth)
(Image: Robert Firth)
Around the corner Shelly Langley said she hadn’t dared sit in her garden since work on the development began because of noise and dust. She said: “I can’t use the garden – there’s too much dust. They cut the washing line down and never told me. It was all full of greenery at the back and they cut it all away.
“The noise is atrocious. The whole house starts shaking. I’ve got chronic asthma and it’s an absolute nightmare. I can’t open my windows because of my asthma. I live in darkness.
“I’m sitting here eating dinner and they [the builders] are all looking at me. I have my curtains closed upstairs six days a week because it’s not private enough. I can’t get away from it because I work from home. I have to close the door quickly because of the rats that have been displaced. I’ve got cats sitting outside my house waiting to get them.”
Residents say the building work blights their lives six days a week, running from 8am until 6pm on weekdays and from 9am until 2pm on Saturdays. Despite repeated meetings with Southwark Council about the nuisance, they say their concerns aren’t being taken seriously.
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Yvette Bygraves, 50, who has lived on the street for 26 years, said: “No matter what we say it’s just dismissed. The dust and the dirt is really bad. My daughter has two children and they’re always coughing. I can see them [builders] when I sit on my toilet. I’ve been told they can’t see us but we can see them and if we can see them they can see us.”
British Land’s huge Canada Water Masterplan development spans 53 acres and will create 3,000 homes, 20,000 jobs, a new leisure centre and town square once finished.
A spokesperson for British Land said: “The Canada Water development is an ambitious project in Southwark. We understand that construction work by its nature can be disruptive to residential areas in its proximity which is why contractors are using best practice construction machinery and methodology to limit the impact of the works as far as possible as well as carefully monitoring construction impact to site neighbours.
“We issue regular information in print and online, as well as holding forums and drop-in sessions, to ensure those living in or spending time in the Canada Water area are aware of construction activity and what this means for them.” Southwark Council has been contacted.