Villagers worried over digging work
17:00 22 March 2014
Concerned residents in Newton Poppleford who woke up to see land outside their houses dug up into a muddy quagmire ‘without notice’ are fearing the same could happen again.
Consultants took to the field to the rear of King Alfred Way three weeks ago on behalf of Cavanna Homes, to carry out drainage testing on a development of dwellings.
Several householders said they received no warning of the work before it commenced.
One villager, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We are all very concerned that the workers could come back and start digging up the land without us knowing.
“The issue was even more worrying with the flooding that Newton Poppleford sustained through the heavy weather. I had a sleepless night worrying if my garden was going to look like a swimming pool once they had finished.”
“Although the work only went on for two days, there was a lot of mud left over.
“I approached East Devon District Council about the problem and was told that we did not need to be notified that the work was going on, and information was online.
“That isn’t going to help some residents in King Alfred Way who don’t have access to the internet.”
Ian Pugsley, head planner at Cavanna Homes, said: “This type of event does not mean we have started work on the site under the outline [planning] consent.
“Equipment of this nature would be typical in a field. Concerns that soil had been left on the road were dealt with promptly by our team who immediately swept the road ahead of our mechanical road sweeper arriving.”