Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Developer apologises for power cut and piling noise

BUILDERS caused a power cut in Sonning Common while creating the foundations for 65 new homes.

Electricity lines were damaged during piling work at the Bewley Homes development in Lea Meadow, off Peppard Road, on January 27.

Eighty-seven homes were left without power for more than seven hours and some households in Kennylands Road had to rely on a generator from SSE for three days before the power was restored.

Andrew Brooks, managing director of Bewley Homes, said: “During the construction of a manhole for foul drainage on the Lea Meadow site, a low voltage cable was damaged, resulting in a power cut to the local area. 

“We informed SSE immediately as we understand how this can be inconvenient for residents. The matter was dealt with by SSE the following day.”

A spokeswoman for SSE said: “We received our first call about it at 11.39am and it was resolved by 5.55pm. A total of 87 homes was affected. Kennylands Road had power again from 5.55pm but this was on a generator from January 27 to 30.

“During those three days we were carrying out repairs and once this was finished the supply was switched back on. 

“I would like to apologise on behalf of the company for the inconvenience.”

Meanwhile, residents close to the site have been sent a letter by Bewley Homes’ site manager Andrew Pilbream apologising for the noise of the piling.

He says the work will be split into two phases, with the first phase set to be completed in the week commencing February 20.

The second phase will take place at the end of March or in early April. Piling is used to create a deep foundation using vertical columns of concrete, steel or wood, or a combination of all three.

These are driven deep into the ground to give extra support to the building above.

Mr Brooks said: “We understand how noise caused as the result of construction can be inconvenient to local residents and we try to keep this to a minimum. 

“The piling work at Lea Meadow is necessary to ensure the 65 much- needed private and housing association properties being built have solid foundations and will stand the test of time. 

“I want to reassure residents that we will continue to undertake this work in as efficient and timely a manner as possible in orderto minimise any further disruption.

“Residents will be able to read regular updates on construction progress via a noticeboard which we will be putting up on the site boundary later this month. 

“In addition, we are in the process of developing a dedicated website which will also feature regular updates and site information.”

Since 2009 Lea Meadow has been the subject of six applications for houses ranging from 55 to 105. 

Over the years, hundreds of residents have raised concerns about development of the site. 

Bewley Homes’ application was approved by South Oxfordshire District Council in July before the Sonning Common neighbourhood plan, which was approved in a referendum in September.

The 3.7-hectare site next to the Herb Farm was recommended for 60 homes in the plan.

The development will comprise a range of homes from one-bedroom units to five-bedroom houses, 40 per cent of which will be “affordable”, in line with district council policy.

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