‘Unhealthy’ dust from Northampton construction site causing ‘absolute nightmare’ for Collingtree residents

SEGRO and West Northamptonshire Council have responded to the claims

Monday, 25th July 2022, 3:18 pm
Roger Birch, a Collingtree resident, says it was "a complete waste of time" having his car cleaned as it was soon covered in dust, created by the SEGRO-Winvic construction site.
Roger Birch, a Collingtree resident, says it was "a complete waste of time" having his car cleaned as it was soon covered in dust, created by the SEGRO-Winvic construction site.

“Unhealthy” dust, which Collingtree residents claim is coming from a Northampton construction site, is causing an “absolute nightmare”.

The residents believe it is coming from the rail-freight terminal at Junction 15 on the M1 at SEGRO’s logistics park, which is being built by Winvic.

Roger Birch, of Shoal Creek in Collingtree, said: “It’s been an absolute nightmare over the last two-to-three weeks.

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“We can’t open our windows at times as the dust comes in the house, and I recently had my car cleaned which was a complete waste of time – no sooner had it been cleaned, it was dirty again.

“I can imagine it’s even worse for those living in Collingtree village, who are even closer to the works.”

Roger says he has made a complaint directly to SEGRO and Winvic about the issue, and no response has been provided.

In response to these claims, a spokesperson for SEGRO said: “In order to develop SEGRO Logistics Park Northampton and deliver the resulting economic, employment and infrastructure benefits we need to undertake significant earthworks.

“It is extremely important to us that we minimise any impact of our construction activities on our neighbours. We already have extensive measures in place to monitor live dust levels so we and our contractors can ensure they remain within the range permitted by the local authority.”

A group of residents met with Winvic recently to discuss the issue, which Roger could not attend, and he said: “From what I’ve heard from those who went to this meeting, they aren’t doing enough to minimise the issue.”

Roger believes the West Northamptonshire Council’s environmental health group should be fighting for the issue to be rectified, and they were invited to the recent meeting.

However, Roger said: “They didn’t turn up and it was as if they couldn’t be bothered. I’ve reached out to them about the issue, but have been met with nothing.”

In response to this, Ruth Austen assistant director of regulatory services at West Northamptonshire Council said: “The council is aware of complaints of dust affecting the Collingtree area.

“Investigations and monitoring visits have been carried out in the locality, and discussions have been ongoing with the construction company involved. We are ensuring that the requirements of the agreed construction management plan are undertaken as needed, including measures for suppression of dust where necessary. We will continue to do this.

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“All complaints made to the council are acknowledged and anyone who has not been responded to can provide their details to us and we can look into why they have not been contacted.

“No officers from the council were available to attend a recent meeting between residents and Winvic, but we are engaged with the company and are aware of the outcomes of the meeting.”

Roger says the issue is being caused by “the top surfaces being taken off and there is no protection from the dust being blown away”, and it is not as prominent when there is rainfall – but there have been few showers recently.

There are many residents complaining of the issue on Facebook, calling for the respective groups to respond and help minimise the havoc being caused.