‘It’s like a war zone’ - neighbours say flat demolition work is making their lives a misery

Tennent Street resident Denise Houston is angry over the on going demolition of Westmoreland Court
Tennent Street resident Denise Houston is angry over the on going demolition of Westmoreland Court

A fed up mum says she’s living in a war zone as demolition work on a 11-storey building just yards from her home causes a real dust up.

Denise Houston says she has been putting up with noise and mess for weeks as Westmorland Court, in Hebburn, gets razed to the ground.

Denise says sprinklers soak her garden

Denise says sprinklers soak her garden

The 59-year-old, who lives in Tennant Street, says she has been unable to hang her washing out or sit in her garden because a sprinkler system - designed to keep dust levels down - is soaking everything.

The Asda employee said: “It’s like a war zone around here. Myself and the rest of the neighbours are sick of this now. It’s been going on too long.

“They set sprinklers off every day, even on a Saturday. The washing gets soaked, the garden is soaked and you just can’t go out.

“The dirt and muck is appalling and the noise is never ending.”

She added: “While we appreciate the building has to come down, it feels like we’ve just been left to put up with all of this chaos.”

Denise says she is also frustrated by a lack of communication from the builders and local authority as the 133 flats are demolished.

She said: “My husband has called a number of times to ask when this is likely to be finished, but we never get an answer.

“There’s been a massive lack of communication with the residents.

“We should have been temporarily moved out while this level of work is carried out. It’s awful.”

The council’s cabinet made the decision in 2014 to relocate the 126 tenants then living in the building .

Once the block is demolished, the site will be covered in soil, seeded and maintained, before being redeveloped as part of the regeneration of the town centre.

A spokeswoman for South Tyneside Council said: “The demolition of Westmorland Court is a major milestone in the regeneration of Hebburn Town Centre.

“Work started earlier this year with water sprays put in place to help contain the dust generated from the site. The location of the site is also prone to high winds which can make it difficult to control the amount of airborne dust and mist from the suppression system.

“We appreciate demolition work can cause inconvenience to local residents and we thank them all for their patience.

“Fortunately the work is coming to an end. In the meantime, we will be contacting the resident to discuss her concerns further.”