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Column 16th October 2019

Which is the most considerate of the construction firms?

We have a number of large developers working around OX12 at the moment and as the weather is getting more autumnal and mud on building sites is getting deeper we need to be aware of the need to watch road surfaces near the developments.

We have all known for years that the Airfield and Monks farm get waterlogged and it can’t be easy to build houses in waterlogged soil, but I’m sure the developers knew what they were buying and are used to working in mud.

I’ve been looking back at the records and we have had incidents of mud on the road from the Airfield (or Wellington Gate as it is more aptly called) as well as from Springfield Road and Monks Farm.

There has also been mud on the A417 outside Crab Hill so we will need to be careful near all development sites this winter.

We’ve also had problems with developers working outside normal hours, and with noise and dust pollution from most sites over the summer, although this is less likely to be a problem in the darker and wetter days to come.

We do have periodic development forum meetings with Persimmon (Grove Airfield) and St Modwen (Crab Hill) but any discussions about the site management are normally handled outside these meetings.

So it’s been great to receive regular email updates from Stepnells (the developers building the Care Home on Grove Road near the allotments).

Andrew, the site foreman, has been very keen to engage with those local residents who would be the most inconvenienced by work on site.

As he said in one update: “As you can imagine, the recent turn in the weather has caused us some progress and logistical problems.

“Regrettably we cannot continue bricklaying in bad weather but to reduce the risk of Mud on the Road we are currently laying a temporary site tarmac area which will be kept as the clean area for road vehicles isolating them from the site plant and machinery.

“We will still wash vehicle wheels as required but by keeping them in the clean area we do not expect this to present a problem on the Public roads.”

Many of those local residents have pointed out that other building developer companies nearby could learn a lot from this professional, thoughtful, considerate construction company.

We’re thinking of having a WAG Considerate Constructor Award next spring and we already have a strong contender for the prize.


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