Builders wanting to work longer hours to catch up after Covid lockdown promise neighbours to turn their radios off

Site of the three homes being built on land south west of South West of Terryann on Old Bank, Prickw

Site of the three homes being built on land south west of South West of Terryann on Old Bank, Prickwillow. - Credit: Archant

Neighbours have been assured that workers will turn off their radios if they can work longer hours to help a small housing project play catch up after the pandemic lockdown.

Three homes are being built on land south west of South West of Terryann on Old Bank, Prickwillow.

Bluebell Assets, the company building them, is concerned that “we are considerably behind schedule due to Covid-19”.

In a letter to neighbours it says: “In order to regain time lost, we plan to extend working hours.

“However, please rest assured, during the extended hours, we do not intend to use heavy equipment/tools or the radio.”

Planning permission granted by East Cambs Council stipulated construction times and deliveries must be from 8am to 6pm on weekdays, and to 1pm on Saturdays. No Sunday or bank holiday weekend working was allowed.

The reason given by the council was to “safeguard the residential comfort of neighbouring occupiers”.

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The council is being asked to temporarily allow extended construction working hours more than those allowed under that condition.

Bluebell Assets of Chelmsford has assured the council that we will “individually and personally contact our immediate neighbours about our plans to extend working hours and indeed assure them that there will be no use of radios and any generating machinery

“There are no sensitive uses near the site. We expect there to be little or no impact to the three dwellings near to the site as we intend to carry out noisy works only during the normal working hours.”

And they promised that during the extra hours “only light hand tools maybe in use”.

Bluebell says extended hours will allow them to “catch up whilst keeping with all the government social distancing recommendation”.

When permission was given for the homes the council’s planning officer – in recommending approval –said the site was outside the designated development envelope of the village.

And he felt it was contrary to the growth policy of the 2015 Local Plan.

But in recommending approval he noted at the time that permission was given the council could not show a five-year supply of land. Therefore, this weighed in favour of the application unless substantial adverse impacts could be found.

The officer felt the three houses would make “a small but positive contribution” to the local housing supply

“It would also be seen as beneficial to the local economy in the short-term due to the construction stage,” he said.

He also believed those buying the homes would have “good access to the services and facilities within Prickwillow”.