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Arsenal building work causing Holloway homes to shake ‘like earthquake’

PUBLISHED: 10:33 30 November 2010

Queensland Road development

Queensland Road development

Archant

A BLOCK of flats has been shaking like it was hit by an earthquake since work kicked off on the latest Arsenal construction project, residents have complained.

Frustrated occupants of the converted pub in Bryantwood Road, in Holloway, which has a garden backing onto Arsenal’s Queensland Road housing development, have been putting up with vibrations since September – and are worried their flats could be damaged.

The tremors have not stopped in two months, despite the foreman saying they would only last for a matter of days - and to residents’ disgust work now goes on even on Saturdays, starting at 8am.

Youth worker Charli Campbell, 32, said: “We had been warned about the development for quite some time. We knew it would be a bit of an upheaval and would mean noise and disturbance.

“What has been shocking is that since the work started the whole building has been shaking as if there is an earthquake. The first time it happened was really scary.”

Arsenal is building 700 flats and a sports centre at the site.

The residents are also furious that the council has done nothing to stop the problem – despite admitting that a monitor has recorded vibration levels that breach acceptable limits.

Ms Campbell added: “I just feel like Islington Council is not helping at all. If it went above that level, then why hasn’t it stopped?”

Neighbour Charles Turley, 50, a company director, said: “I have been in an earthquake in Greece and it’s not dissimilar. You feel it may be damaging your house but no one really gives a toss.”

Five years ago the side wall of an end terrace in nearby Benwell Road collapsed, opening it up like a dolls house.

Anna Skrein, who also lives in the Bryantwood Road flats, says the vibrations are so extreme she is fearful her home’s walls could collapse too.

In a letter to Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North, she wrote: “The constant and significant vibrations from the demolition work have been making me incredibly concerned for the safety of my home. The recent Saturday working hours are over the top and offer local residents no respite at all.

“Having seen a home crumble on a neighbouring street a few years ago, I have serious concerns that something like that could happen to my home due to these works.”

A spokesman for Kier, the construction company carrying out the work, said: “The vibrations recorded on monitors on the site boundary have been caused by machinery running on concrete surfaces during demolition. Islington Council is monitoring the vibration levels and will intervene should they consider them unacceptable.”

Labour Councillor Paul Smith, Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said: “We have instructed our environmental health team to monitor any further breach of threshold levels. If levels are exceeded we will take strong action.”


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