A number of local residents have raised the issue of unacceptable noise levels whilst the demolition of the “Nuclear Bunker” at the old DWP Building at Lawnswood is undertaken. I took this up with Environmental Health and set out below is the reply I have received.
I am writing to update you on the position regarding the demolition works being undertaken on site. I apologise in advance for the length of this email. However I feel it is important for you to have all the information available. As you may be aware, a number of residents have contacted our service via yourself with concerns over noise from the works being undertaken. There has also been contact from one resident in relation to the adjacent site known as Boddington Manor. However we have since been advised that their issue actually relates to the Lawnswood site.
Over the past month I have spoken with all the residents affected and have also visited a number of them at their homes. There has been a site meeting with the demolition company involved, Demolition Services Ltd and a representative from their agent Cofely Gdfsuez. The work relating to the demolition of the single storey prefabricated buildings has been undertaken successfully without any issue. However the current activities relating to the demolition of the former nuclear shelter has unfortunately been causing issues with the residents. The concrete structure consists of one storey above ground and two below. The concrete walls and ceilings are around six to eight feet thick and unfortunately cannot be demolished by routine methods.
We have been working with the contractor to ensure that they are using best practicable means to undertake the work. From a technical and insurance point of view the only option for the demolition is the one currently being undertaken. This involves a pneumatic device situated on the end of a digger arm breaking up the concrete. This is unfortunately slow and has caused some noise and vibration issues for local residents. The contractor has confirmed they will keep to working Monday to Friday. Currently they are on site at around 8.30am and leave around 4 – 5pm. There is no working on a weekend. Frequent breaks are also being undertaken. Following input from ourselves the number of machines has been reduced to one to avoid excessive noise and vibration.
In terms of the length of the demolition works, this is likely to last a few weeks due to the solid construction of the building. The contractor understands the importance of good communication and there have already been a number of conversations between the residents and the company.
Our role is to ensure that the works are carried out in the agreed manner causing minimal disturbance to local residents. Unfortunately however there will be some inconvenience and noise as there are no practical alternatives to the methods being used.
I can assure you that we will continue to work with all parties involved until completion of the works.”