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Residents say they have had their summer stolen by housing developer

Not done and dusted: Residents are unhappy with the amount of dust from the neighbouring Bishopgarth site.
Not done and dusted: Residents are unhappy with the amount of dust from the neighbouring Bishopgarth site.

Residents say a housing developer has “stolen their summer” after failing to control clouds of dust from a nearby site in Wakefield.

Redrow Homes has now spent months clearing the old training police headquarters on Bishopgarth in preparation to build 112 homes.

But because of the prolonged spells of dry weather, residents living close to the site claim not enough is being done to suppress the dust from escaping the site.

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Those living on Westfield Road and Westfield Terrace say windows have to be kept closed despite soaring temperatures and have been unable to use their gardens.

Despite this, they say the silica dust, found on demolition sites, is still getting into their homes.

They even claim that masonry from the site’s old tower caused problems while it was being demolished.

Leda Prest, a resident and retired lawyer, told the Express: “It’s not about nimbyism at all, it’s about the management of the dust through demolition that is making our lives a misery.

“It’s covering our cars and coming into our houses.

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“We’ve been told to stay out of our gardens and keep our windows shut. They have stolen our summer.

“They say it’s not their responsibility but they are liable, and the clean air act is an enforceable piece of legislation.

“Everybody thinks this is just about 7.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, but we’re having to live with this 24/7.

“Then there’s health and safety issues, it’s silica dust and it could have long-term health implications.”

The site was home to West Yorkshire Police’s training centre before it moved to Carr Gate in 2014

Having being given planning permission in 2016, Redrow is building a mix of apartments, townhouses, detached and semi-detached properties.

Paul Oldridge, managing director for Redrow Homes in Yorkshire, apologised for the inconvenience to residents and said: “The long period of exceptionally dry and hot weather means that dust on all construction-related sites can be a challenge.

“We have been undertaking demolition work, which we aim to complete by late August. In the meantime, we are working hard to minimise the effects as much as we possibly can.

“We’re in regular dialogue with the Environment Agency and Wakefield Council.”