Construction Site Investigation

Further to information posted on 5th June 2020, the Chelmsford City Council Public Health and Protection team have undertaken an initial investigation into the concerns raised in relation to dust & noise from the various construction sites that surround us. A summary of the findings is detailed below:

Response from Public Health and Protection Officer

In general terms it is unfortunately inevitable that some disturbance from noise and dust will occur for those living close to construction sites. Until the recent rain we had experienced a prolonged period of dry, and sometimes windy, weather which meant dust suppression had become more difficult. However, developers should be doing all that can be reasonably asked of them to minimise dust emissions.

As a Service we have provided input and advice to our colleagues in Planning Services when requests for extended hours have been received from developers. The extended hours, and types of works, that have been agreed we consider to be reasonable, but these are kept under review. Any information on working outside of agreed hours, or not adhering to agreed types of working, should be reported.

Taking the nearby 3 developments in turn please see the following:

Channels Phase 4 (Marden Homes)
I visited Marden Homes, Channels Phase 4 and met with the site manager. Whilst on site in the car park, I observed the wet road sweeper in operation. It was also in operation the whole time that I was on site. No significant dust was observed during this time and the noise from the site was at a low level at that time.

The site manager also mentioned that some dust emissions could have occurred during weekends and at other times when no one would be on site when the weather had been dry and windy. The manager advised me that they consider they are doing everything they can to reduce the dust to reasonable levels.

Beaulieu Zones K & L (London & Quadrant)
The staff onsite explained that they have wet road sweeper in operation which I also observed. They advised that they considered that the dust problem was most of an issue about 3 weeks ago when they first started digging. No significant dust was observed during the time that I was on site. The staff onsite confirmed to me that they are looking to extend their hours of operation and that they do not currently work on Saturdays.

They also advised that episode of dusts could occur over the weekends if the weather is dry and due to the wind, and no one would be on site.

Channels Phases 3c, 3d & 5 (The Home Group)
I spoke to the site manager over the telephone while onsite about the dust issues and the hours of operation. He confirmed to me that they have a dust suppression vehicle on site that operates during the times that construction work is being carried out. He also advised that they consider they are doing all they can to reduce the dust situation on site.

With regard to working during extended hours he stated that work being carried out on Saturdays after 1 pm are less noisy works.

Next Steps
The investigating officer appreciates that what the site managers have advised me may differ from our experience. We have been assured that extra measures have been put into place to assist with dust suppression and we are waiting for advice as to how to log further issues should they arise.

We have however been provided with log-sheets to better identify any of the sites that are causing unacceptable levels of noise.

If you feel that the level of noise is unacceptable or you believe that constructors are working at times that they should not be, please log the issue on the Construction Site Noise Nuisance Log.

This information will be collated and provided to the investigating officer as necessary.