AS work gets underway on the construction of a new ‘care village’ on land next to Edinview in Stonehaven, a resident of the estate has described the initial excavation work as creating a “miniature earthquake” and causing “visible damage” to his home.
Andrew Hinchcliffe, whose home backs on to the site, said that since the work began in earnest last week, a crack has appeared in the brickwork of his extension.
He said: “On Friday morning I had the luxury of eating breakfast while being bounced around as large heavy duty machinery began the earth removal at the site. The house was shaking, it was terrible.
“I spoke to several of my neighbours who all experienced the same thing. A hairline crack has now appeared on the brickwork below the harling course, on the corner of the house closest to where the work was taking place.”
Mr Hinchcliffe, who shares his home with his wife and two children, said that he had several of his neighbours had contacted the council, who had been sympathetic.
He said: “I and many of my neighbours contacted the council to voice our concerns as already, in the very earliest of phases this development is causing mayhem. The council have even suggested I contact my own insurance company and provide photographic evidence of the damage.
“I and many other residents are really worried about further, possible more severe structural damage.”
A representative from the local authority visited the site on Monday of this week to investigate the claims, and a spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: We have spoken to the contractors and an environmental health officer has been to the site to investigate.
“On testing, no vibrations were found just a few metres from the working area, but we will ensure the site is monitored as earthworks progress.
“If there is evidence of damage to nearby properties we would of course want to hear about that from the residents concerned and we will try to ensure the construction methods used are sympathetic and appropriate.”
Mr Hinchcliffe also criticised the public consultations that were carried out prior to the work beginning on the care home, which will provide residential care for up to 60 elderly people. He said that his 13 year-old daughter had been “visibly upset” during the consultation process, as residents’ pleas to change the access route to the site were ignored.
He said: “I do not know of one single suggestion from the public consultation that has been incorporated into the plan.”
He added: “This development will significantly benefit one portion of the community whilst being significantly disadvantageous to residents, children and previous users of this field.”