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Aldi construction vibrations are 'like an earthquake' say Park Street residents in Deal

By Eleanor Perkins

A smashed laptop and camera are two items Aldi is being forced to replace after vibrations caused by the construction of a supermarket have been likened to an earthquake.

Residents living within metres of the supermarket site in Deal's Park Street have described the effects of machinery and piling works as intolerable.

Not only is it causing items to break, residents have reported CDs falling off shelves and furniture rattling.

They're now worried about the structural damage being caused to their 19th century homes which are positioned in Deal's Conservation area.

Tony Scarfe, 78, who has lived in Park Street for more than 30 years, told Kent Online: "It's like an earthquake. The whole house has been shaking from top to bottom.

"The vibrations have been intolerable.

Homes in Park Street are just metres from the Aldi construction site
Homes in Park Street are just metres from the Aldi construction site

"When they [Aldi workers] were directly opposite my house at 8am this morning with their pile driver, the vibration was really bad, everything was shaking and all the plates and pictures were skew-whiff on the wall.

"We've had to move stuff from shelves and put them on the floor.

"It sort of stays within you, you can't relax, you're frightened stiff that something is going to happen to the property. You can't get it out of your mind.

"The houses were built in 1856 and I hate to think what it's doing to the foundations of the property or the actual structure of it."

Mr Scarfe, who has already had his camera replaced after it vibrated off a table, added: "We weren't informed that anything of this nature was going to happen otherwise I would have complained a little more forcefully."

Tony Scarfe, pictured by his upstairs window, say the vibrations feel like an earthquake
Tony Scarfe, pictured by his upstairs window, say the vibrations feel like an earthquake

In building construction, piling is when a piece of timber, steel, or concrete is driven into the ground to make the foundations to support a structure.

Residents have been told that 500 piles must be put in. They say a total of 200 have already been done with a further 300 expected to be done today.

Mr Scarfe said following this week's downpour water has started to emerge through a bay window.

He admits the problem has existed in the past but since being fixed has not occurred for some years.

Residents says piling work at the Aldi site is causing their homes to shake
Residents says piling work at the Aldi site is causing their homes to shake

He added: "I'm scared that there's going to be structural damage to the place that is not going to manifest itself or appear inmediately. What can we do about it?"

He has raised his concerns to the site manager, Aldi press office and Dover District Council.

Another resident, who doesn't want to be named, says the work starts promptly at 8am and is usually worse from 8am until 9am to prevent disruption to businesses in the road.

She said: "I am waking up in the morning to my radiator rattling.

"It's having a huge impact on my home life. You shouldn't have to be told to move things in case they break.

"If I were knocking my garden wall down, I'd be round to my neighbours with a bottle of wine to say sorry about the dust - just to be a good neighbour.

"I don't think they've taken in to consideration how close our properties are. We've just been disregarded."

The Aldi store in Deal is expected to look like this when it opens later this year
The Aldi store in Deal is expected to look like this when it opens later this year

Aldi has confirmed it will replace a broken laptop, believed to have fallen off a desk at Barraclough and Partners insurance brokers. The business refused to comment.

A spokesman for Aldi said: “We are working hard to limit the impact on neighbouring properties, and have been in regular contact with residents and the local council.

"We would like to apologise for any disruption caused during the construction and thank local residents for their patience.”

The old Co-op store has been demolished
The old Co-op store has been demolished

The discount supermarket’s plans for the former Co-op site were given the green light by Dover District Council’s planning committee in December 2018.

They had been rejected just three months before over objections to fell the mature trees on site.

It is expected to open before Christmas 2019.

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

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