Strood residents who live near the site of major construction works have had their quality of life impacted by increased levels of noise pollution, vibrations, and dust.
With the help of first-hand accounts from local residents, Medway Labour Councillor Stephen Hubbard held Conservative-run Medway Council to account on this issue at Overview and Scrutiny.
Cllr Stephen Hubbard, Councillor for Strood North said, ‘Both the Chairman and Director made it very clear that the council would not change its position on the adopted Strood Waterfront development brief, i.e. Kingswear Gardens estate will remain shown as a development site. Kingswear Gardens residents are the most put upon, directly by the council, subset of residents in the whole of the towns.
‘Not only they have to put up with the dust, noise and vibrations as described by Vic Haywood, they are at the risk of losing their homes to redevelopment.
‘Development in Medway must not come at a cost to resident’s health and the health of their homes. And one way to mitigate this is to increase staff working in the council’s development control/planning department and environmental protection department, to undertake comprehensive monitoring of development sites.’
Vic Haywood, a local resident who was nominated by his neighbours to represent them at Overview and Scrutiny said, ‘Over the last year our neighbourhood has been complaining to the council about the impact the noise, dust, and vibrations from the regeneration works has had on our health and quality of life.
‘So many of the issues we’ve raised are easy to resolve at virtually nil cost to the council, but failing to address them now will result in greater costs down the line.
‘The council has completely failed to in their duty to protect residents and we feel frustrated and abandoned by their lack of response to our numerous complaints; all we are trying to do is protect the health of our families and prevent damage to our homes.
‘I was therefore pleasantly surprised at how hard Stephen worked to get this issue on the agenda, and thanks to the dogged determination of the Labour Councillors on the committee, we’ve managed to secure further meeting with council officers and the site managers. After a year of living next to a building site, we’re really keen to get this resolved and are really grateful to Stephen and other Labour councillors for standing up for residents.’
Cllr Andy Stamp, Councillor for Gillingham North and Labour Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture said, ‘The evidence provided by local residents demonstrated how badly their quality of life and their health has been affected by the “regeneration” taking place on Strood Waterfront.
‘They have been suffering for far too long and the Council’s response to their ongoing complaints has simply not been good enough. We will continue to put pressure on the Council to ensure that the concerns raised by the long-suffering residents of Kingswear Gardens are listened to and acted upon.’
More information on Cllr Stephen Hubbard’s member’s item can be found here: https://democracy.medway.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=437&MId=4420&Ver=4
Development in Medway must not come at a cost to resident’s health and the health of their homes. Cllr Stephen Hubbard, Councillor for Strood North