A COUNCILLOR said the Royal Borough Council and lead members are giving “the two fingers” to residents for not “willing” to investigate the demolition site for a new Aldi store after noise complaints.
Recently, the Observer reported Pat Morrish, owner of the Old Farmhouse, which is a 14th century Garde II* listed B&B and is adjacent to the upcoming discount supermarket on Dedworth Road, Windsor, feared for what the “horrendous” noise, dust, and vibrations from the site could do to the building of that age.
Mrs Morrish is also the co-founder of the nearby Cardinal Clinic psychiatric hospital on Oakley Green Road also had concerns over the “constant interruptions” it’s had on the clinic’s patient’s mental health as they need peace and quiet.
Demolition works started a few weeks back after councillors on the Royal Borough’s planning committee approved plans last October for developers to demolish the garden centre for an Aldi store with 113 car parking spaces.
Ward councillor Wisdom Da Costa (West Windsor Residents’ Association: Clewer & Dedworth West) told the Observer he has petitioned senior councillors and officers to investigate and intervene the site after receiving messages from “distressed” residents and businesses who had to “suffer deafening noise levels, ground shaking seismic and percussive disturbances, and choking dust and air pollution” since the beginning of March.
He said: “The high levels of disturbance are having a profound impact on their hearing, their mental health, their lungs, their property, and has caused harm to their businesses as they have had to stop offering services.
“Some of the most severely impacted will be adolescents with severe mental health issues who are now being denied treatment, at the worst possible time, during the Covid-19 crisis.”
After petitioning lead members and the council, Cllr Da Costa said neither were “willing” to pause the works to investigate and take action to put measures in place to safeguard nearby residents and businesses.
He added: “It seems like two fingers to residents from big business and those in authority. This is not acceptable.”
A council spokesman said the Royal Borough’s environmental protection team have received complaints about the demolition works and sent out two officers to visit the site.
They found the works to be in accordance with industry practice including working hours and will continue to monitor the site as the development progresses.
The spokesman said: “Last week it was particularly noisy while the concrete slab was being removed. This has now been completed and the noise has significantly reduced.”
Councillor David Coppinger (Con: Bray), lead member for planning, added: “The owners of the site have now demolished the existing garden centre.
“Obviously when a demolition takes place, there is a degree of noise and disturbance which cannot be avoided.
“The site has been visited on a number of occasions by officers and the officers’ view is the level of noise is what you would expect from a demolition and the contractor is taking all necessary steps to avoid unnecessary dust and noise and are working the hours that you would expect.”