Welwyn Garden City hospital demolition prompts neighbour complaints

PUBLISHED: 09:35 10 February 2017

Demolition of the old QEII hospital continues with the new QEII in the background.

Demolition of the old QEII hospital continues with the new QEII in the background.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

The demolition of Welwyn Garden City’s old QEII Hospital is causing a plague of dust, affecting homes and damaging cars, neighbours have complained.

A 54-year-old professional electrician living in Birch Court, a block of flats next to the

hospital site, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times the demolition was being done “on the cheap”.

He said: “We have had a problem for months, but it has got really, really bad now.

“My car is getting scratched, and I am having to get it cleaned three times a week.

“A lot of people round here have complained to the builders.

“If this was happening in the town centre, it would be stopped straight away.”

Fellow Birch Court resident Jae Stevens, 22, said: “Dust is certainly a pain, although it is winter at the moment. I am dreading the summer, when it will be dry.

“I am quite anal about my car, and I like to keep it clean.”

Builders working for Bellway Homes are progressively demolishing the old hospital to make way for a “striking development” of 163 homes and a three-storey care home.

They are using a water jet to reduce the dust, but a neighbour with ample experience of building sites said the size of the project needed four at least, and dust was penetrating neighbouring flats.

A spokeswoman for Bellway Homes said: “Bellway has considered many sensitivities at this site throughout the planning process, due to the garden city surroundings.

“All works have been planned and managed in line with the health and safety method statement. We have arranged an adequate water supply to ensure we can reduce and control the dust, and this is routinely checked.”

A borough council spokeswoman said: “We received a complaint regarding dust from the QEII building works on Tuesday, January 24, which we have investigated.

“Council officers visited the site and found that all reasonable measures are being put in place to protect surrounding properties and minimise the dust.

“We will continue to monitor the situation, and if residents have any further concerns, we encourage them to get in touch.”

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