A Bodmin couple have described how a housing project directly below their house has made their lives a living hell.
Judy and Barry Stevens have shared a house on Westheath Road for 23 years, a property that Mr Stevens has lived in since 1963.
Mrs Stevens has described how the development by Vistry Group, merely a few feet from the bottom of her land has disrupted the couple’s lives since beginning.
She said: “There was no prior warning other than a letter sent on August 20, and since then the noise and disruption has been unbearable for us and other residents of Westheath Road, many of which are older.
“We can’t use the garden because of the noise and there’s absolutely no privacy. The noise begins early in the morning and goes throughout the day until the evening, five days a week.
“The builders begin to get ready at 7.30 am and while not actually beginning working, as soon as 8 am begins, the noise begins, and this goes on until 5pm. We are a couple in our 70’s and appreciate a lie-in and there’s no chance of that with the racket just feet from our house. Sometimes it’s so bad our property feels like its shaking.”
Mrs Stevens described a particular day where the noise became intolerable, adding: “There was one day where we had to run out of the house and go for a walk when it felt like it was vibrating. We couldn’t shut off the noise, they were compacting the ground causing disturbances.”
Mrs Stevens felt that while she understood the need for houses and was not against it, her issue was the direct impact of the development on land merely feet from her property.
She continued: “We don’t object to the houses being built but the acoustics and impact are ridiculous.
“The layout of the proposed development, over the garden fence means there won’t be any buffer other than a simple chain link fence, meaning we won’t have any privacy.”
The development has left the couple feeling trapped, with attempts to sell the house to move somewhere else collapsing, due, according to Mrs Stevens, to the threat of the adjacent development.
She said: “As well as the disruption, it’s effectively left us stuck. The property is devalued, we had to take it off the market and we simply don’t know what’s happening. There are even issues with the boundary, which we feel is increasingly encroaching ours. We’ve been in touch with a solicitor, we’ve been repeatedly in contact with the company, we’re going around in circles.
“The same is similar for other residents along this side of the road (directly facing the new development).
“One lady hasn’t got any hedge at all in her garden, so the builders are effectively looking straight into her front room.”
A spokesperson for Countryside Partnerships, a Vistry Group company said that they were mindful of residents concerns, adding: “We have met with neighbouring residents in person to discuss any concerns they may have regarding working hours whilst also responding to queries from the local ward councillor. We remain readily available to listen and respond to any further queries. We are also in daily correspondence with our contractor carrying out these works to make sure that any disruption caused by construction is kept to a minimum.
“If it is found that work is commencing before the times agreed with the Council, we shall be reminding them of this requirement.”