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Bermondsey residents trapped next to noisy construction work for Thames ‘super sewer’ during lockdown

Residents living near to the ‘super sewer’ construction site in Bermondsey have told of their misery as they are unable to leave their homes to escape the noise.

Tideway, the construction firm behind the £3.9bn project, is continuing construction throughout lockdown, and is currently digging up the road outside residents’ flats near Bermondsey Wall West.

The work, which had been due to take place last year, were delayed, before beginning last week.

But residents living near to the noise have told the News of their misery, as lockdown rules mean they cannot escape.

“It’s just ridiculously noisy, we’ve got drills and sawing every single day,” said one resident, Sarah Skinner. “They’re just inconsiderate, they don’t care.”

Work is directly next to residents’ flats

Ms Skinner, who is a software tester, lives directly above the works, and says the noise had made it difficult for her to work from home.

“It’s going to be six weeks of continuous noise,” she said. “I can’t concentrate, and I get headaches.”

Work is ongoing from 8am to 4pm, and could last up to eight weeks, but is expected to be finished within six, she added.

The Tideway construction site for the Super Sewer at Bermondsey’s Chambers Wharf

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, has been recovering from coronavirus during the construction work.

“My symptoms have been made so much worse,” she said. “I’ve never had headaches like it, it’s like two hundred tonnes of steel coming down on your head.

“Being in bed with Covid only to have a pneumatic drill to recover with has just been hell.”

She told this paper that she was aware of others who had moved into other people’s homes – despite lockdown – as a last resort to escape the noise.

“They’re saying it’s essential work, but in March they had to stop,” she said. “They just don’t care.

“Are you really telling me they couldn’t do this work before lockdown, when they’ve known about it since October?”

The issue of noise and dust plaguing residents who live near Chambers Wharf has previously been taken up by the Southwark Law Centre.

Sally Causer, its director, has previously written to Tideway to ask for respite for residents who are trapped by the lockdown.

A Tideway spokesperson said  it was doing as much as it could to reduce noise such as an acoustic shed and additional cladding.

“Unfortunately, due to the current lockdown restrictions, options for respite, such as overnight stays in alternative accommodation, are limited,” he said.

“However, we still encourage residents with any particular concerns about disturbance to contact us about what support could be available to mitigate the impacts of our work.”



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