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Construction dust from Saxon Fields development, Canterbury, 'making life hell' for neighbours

Dust caused by the construction of a new housing estate on the outskirts of a city is creating a “living hell” for fed-up neighbours.

Residents next to the Saxon Fields development in Thanington, Canterbury say their homes are frequently covered in dust and they can no longer have their windows open.

Sylvester Stankovitch, Anne Hills and Gary Smith outside the development site in Cockering Road, Canterbury. Picture: Chris Davey
Sylvester Stankovitch, Anne Hills and Gary Smith outside the development site in Cockering Road, Canterbury. Picture: Chris Davey

Some say they can taste it in the back of their throats while others claim their washing is filthy after it has been out on the line.

Anne Hills, who lives in Cockering Road opposite the site, even says her two black cats come in grey after being outside.

She started a petition with partner Gary Smith to bring the matter to the attention of authorities and Pentland Homes, the company behind the 750-home estate, previously known as Thanington Park.

“We are sick and tired of it,” she said.“The cars are filthy all the time, everything is always covered in dust - it’s a continuous job trying to keep everything clean.

“We can’t keep the windows open. When it rains it’s like a mud slide running into the cul-de-sac. People worry about their children; there’s also people with asthma worried about the dust. But nothing is being done. Our quality of life has deteriorated.”

The Saxon Fields development site off Cockering Road, Canterbury. Picture: Chris Davey
The Saxon Fields development site off Cockering Road, Canterbury. Picture: Chris Davey

Clare Leach, who lives in St Nicholas Road, says it has become a living hell.

“No one can have their windows open or even hang washing on the line and you can actually taste the dust,” she said.

“The supposed sweeper truck that goes up and down the road is useless as it just flicks up dust and stones.”

Mrs Leach also claims construction traffic, which during building work must only go one way up St Nicholas Road, is travelling in both directions, flicking up rocks and creating a danger in what is a narrow road.

“The living conditions here are intolerable at the moment,” she added.

“It’s been going on for months and there is no end in sight.”

Residents say their houses are filthy from dust caused by the construction of the new housing estate in Thanington
Residents say their houses are filthy from dust caused by the construction of the new housing estate in Thanington

Tina O’Donnell, who lives in Cockering Road, says she had to hose down her house last week.

“These brown drips just started coming down - it’s ghastly,” she said.

“There’s no point washing your car so I only do it if I’m going away for the weekend.

“I can taste dust and carbon monoxide when I wake up.”

Ward councillor Nick Eden-Green (Lib Dem) says Pentland is “not dealing with the matter satisfactorily”.

The Saxon Fields development site off Cockering Road, Canterbury. Picture: Chris Davey
The Saxon Fields development site off Cockering Road, Canterbury. Picture: Chris Davey

But Karrina Oki, the firm’s sales and marketing director, says there are currently two bowser tankers running on the site, distributing water around the haul roads, to reduce the dust.

“There is a road sweeper on site, which cleans the site roads to try to remove as much dust as possible,” she said.

“The road sweeper also cleans the surrounding roads. In addition to this we inspect the adjoining roads twice a day.”

She says a pressure washer is also used to clean mud from the tyres of vehicles before they leave the site.

Canterbury City Council spokesman Rob Davies said: “Advice has been given on how to reduce dust, including regular damping down.

“It is, though, a big site and some dust is expected to be generated during construction.”

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