Flintshire residents suffering 'life of hell'

Reporter:

Hayley Collins

DESPAIRING residents whose houses are next to major roadworks claim their lives have been made hell by noise and dust.

For the past six months, people living in Thornhill Close, Broughton, have been bombarded with daily dust showers and disturbed by the sound of heavy machinery since construction work on the Warren Hall interchange began.

Many believe their houses will have lost tens of thousands of pounds in value because of the work.

The work is being carried out in preparation for the massive Warren Hall business park development, which is expected to create thousands of jobs.

The houses on Thornhill Close back directly on to the A55 and residents told the Leader they were struggling to sleep, could not sit in their gardens and were unable to open their doors and windows for fear of their homes being engulfed by dust.

Tony Swinborn said it was like living on a building site.

He said: “The main thing is the dust. We can’t even put a washing line out.

“When they start with the vibrating machines we have to take everything off the shelves. You can stand there and feel the walls shaking.”

The residents were told during the planning stages that a 20ft high hedge, which separated their homes from the construction work, would not be removed, but they say workmen have since hacked it down.

He said: “We came home a few months ago and they were going along the hedge with a chainsaw.

“They were supposed to put screening and a fence up, but they haven’t even done that.”

The affected residents fear their homes have plummeted in value by up to £40,000 each.

The new road, which will act as the gateway for the Warren Hall business park, will be built at the same level as the upstairs windows of the properties.

Concerned mum Rachel Corrin, who has a six-week-old baby, said children could not play in the gardens in case a vehicle careered off the road.

She said: “In the time I’ve lived here I have seen three crashes and the only thing that stopped the vehicles tumbling into our gardens was that hedge.”

Broughton councillor David McFarlane is calling on the Welsh Assembly Government, which is behind the project, and Flintshire Council to protect the residents.

He said: “It is incumbent upon these bodies to ensure a decent quality of life for these people by reciprocating the goodwill they have shown in the past months and providing the properties with new fencing to the rear that will shut out the visual eyesore of the works and also stop the constant barrage of dust and debris attacking their homes.”

A Flintshire Council spokesman said: “We are not aware of this issue however planning officers will inspect the site.”

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesperson said: “Residents were invited to a meeting in January when it was explained the unmaintained hedge had to be removed to enable work to proceed. At that same meeting it was explained that it would be completely impractical and also hazardous to erect a temporary plastic screen that would need to be moved on a regular basis to enable work to continue.

“However as soon as practicable a permanent timber fence will be erected along a section of the A5104.”

See full story in the Leader

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