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Westlands School teacher desperate for roadworks in Sonora Fields, Sittingbourne, to end after sleepless nights

A school teacher living beside night-time roadworks is begging for compensation and somewhere else to stay following weeks of non-stop noise.

Susan May feels Kent County Council (KCC) and the house building company, Redrow, have given “no consideration” to those living nearby a junction that is being widened for a new housing estate.

The £576,000 scheme started on the Staplehurst Road roundabout opposite Sonora Fields, Sittingbourne, in January.

The project is being funded by Redrow, to help manage traffic accessing its new estate, Amber Fields, which is being built off Quinton Road.

Temporary traffic lights have been in place throughout, but the work has also included two periods of night-time closures – scheduled from 8pm to 6pm between May 15 to 20 and May 22 today.

But residents have been told they will now run on into next week.

Susan, from Pearl Walk, said: “I understand these things have to happen but it’s more the case that there is no break from it. We have noise all day in the daytime and then all night.

Susan May, from Sonora Fields. Picture: Susan May
Susan May, from Sonora Fields. Picture: Susan May

“Our family is sleep-deprived and totally exhausted.

“My daughter is currently sitting her A-level exams with no sleep and no peace when studying during the day.

“There’s been no consideration for the residents, they should have given us somewhere else to stay for the fortnight.”

The Westlands School reading teacher explained every day there is a couple of hours' break from the machinery and digging noise but says “residents should have been given more consideration and should be compensated for the disruption.”

The 45-year-old, who has lived in the area for the past 11 years, wrote to the council about her unhappiness and feels she was met with a “complete lack of compassion.”

Workmen in Sonora Way, who are working on widening a junction. Picture: Susan May
Workmen in Sonora Way, who are working on widening a junction. Picture: Susan May

Via email, A KCC officer said: “There is no right to compensation for highway works (as they are only temporary although very disruptive) under the current legislation and any measures to put residents into hotels, for the duration of the works, will need to be taken up with the scheme promotor, which in this case is Redrow Homes, under a private arrangement as it's not a matter for the Highway Authority.”

The mum-of-two, who has videoed and photographed the disruption outside her home, feels the council has “completely disregarded residents and is passing the blame to Redrow.”

She added: “I think a solution would be for the roadworks to either take place during the daytime or the nighttime, not all on the same days as there’s just no break.”

The roadworks were scheduled to finish on Friday, May 29, according to Ms May.

However, residents on the Sonora Fields estate found out on Thursday, June 1, that they were to continue until Monday, June 5.

The scene outside Susan’s home. Picture: Susan May
The scene outside Susan’s home. Picture: Susan May

KCC told KentOnline it was a matter for the housing developer.

Glenn Holliday, head of technical for Redrow, said: "The essential works are now in the final stage, which we expect will finish in the coming days.

“We always strive to keep inconvenience to a minimum for local residents and businesses and we will continue to work with Kent County Council to ensure remaining works cause as little disruption as possible.”

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