Borough contacting residents and setting up stakeholder group over Southend Road site problems

Borough contacting residents and setting up stakeholder group over Southend Road site problems
Photo taken on 14th August

Following the article of 14th August, where a resident wrote about her house shaking as a result of works on the Southend Road site, the Borough has issued the following statement.

A council spokesperson said: “Lovell, the council’s development partner, wrote to a group of residents in July on our behalf. They advised this group that piling work was due to commence early in August.

“The work was being carried out to ensure that Southend Road was safely supported and unaffected by the development of the southern end of the car park. If they had not done this piling they would have had to use an alternative method of securing the road, which would have involved closing Southend Road for at least 6 weeks.

“A group of residents was identified, through their proximity, as those considered were likely to be affected by the piling and Lovell wrote to the residents at these addresses. In this letter they included direct contact details for the site manager.

“Unfortunately, due to the unique nature of the rock formations in that area, and despite using a type of piling rig that aims to reduce vibration, it seems that a small number of residents outside this group experienced adverse effects.

“Lovell have acknowledged that they had not put up contact details on the site hoardings and we apologise for this oversight as it meant it was harder for those other residents to report the problems they experienced. Lovell have rectified this as a priority and signs are now up.

“The council was made aware that people were reporting problems with the piling late on Wednesday. First thing on Thursday morning we started contacting and visiting people who had raised issues.

“We have followed this up early this week by contacting everyone who has complained to us, and going to visit them (even if we have already visited) to make sure we have fully understood and captured all their concerns. We are also speaking with other parties involved to gain a full picture of the issues, which will help to inform next steps.

“In light of what has happened we now propose to set up a stakeholder group for those affected to discuss all concerns that nearby residents may have and how we may best keep them informed in future. We will be contacting residents again before the end of August with further details.

“The main piling work is now done. There will be some further excavation required when work on the building foundations begins but this will be much less invasive. We will inform residents when this is due to take place, ensuring that the wider group is included.

“Lovell are members of the Considerate Contractor scheme and have worked successfully with us on a number of schemes. Like us, they are sorry for the issues people have experienced. We hope to reassure affected residents that we are taking their concerns seriously and that we are undertaking to ensure they are kept better informed in future.”

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