Residents living close to the new Tesco supermarket site in Chatteris claim noise from the construction traffic is making their lives a misery and have branded it as an “ecological and environmental disaster”.
Work is well under-way on the site off the A141 on the outskirts of the town, with construction of a major diversion channel for the Fenton Lode already complete.
Preparation for the new store, which is set to be two thirds the size of the March Tesco, started in October but people living in homes in Larham Way, Marritt Close and Angood’s Lane are already fed-up with the noise and disturbance caused by the work.
One senior citizen from Angood’s Lane, who didn’t want to be named, said the noise is so bad she fears she will be unable to sit in her garden when the warmer weather comes. And she claims the large construction plant is causing her home to vibrate.
“I have a muscle wasting illness but when I need to go for a lie-down the bed is vibrating and the noise is terrible. There is no getting away from it. It is there at least 12 hours a day from 7am to 7pm. There are huge floodlights that shine into our homes, and sometimes they even work until 11pm.
“The first time that happened we called the police because we thought someone was stealing the machinery, but it turned out they were working overtime. The A141 is already congested and we get tailbacks all the time, the new store is just going to make that worse. The site is just not the place for a supermarket. We tried to make the planners listen, but we were ignored. Now we have to put up with all this mess and disturbance and to make things worse it is destroying the local wildlife. They have ruined a meadow area, all the hedgerows and the copse have been ripped up destroying the natural habitat. All the frogs, toads, newts and birds have gone. We had a pair of Barn Owls living there for over 12 years, now they have disappeared,” said the woman, who is in her 70s.
She added: “It is an absolute ecological and environmental disaster over there.”
Another resident, Jared Clarke from Larham Way is concerned about the proposed underpass, which is set to run between the Larham Way play area and the Tesco store.
“Not only is it encroaching on a well-loved and used children’s play area but it is not wanted or needed. Who is going to use it? It will become a haven for drug dealers and others out to cause trouble,” he said.
“My daughter, Rebecca is absolutely distraught about the effect it is going to have on the play area and she even organised a petition against it, but no-one was prepared to listen. No-one is going to use the underpass to get to the supermarket, it would have made much more sense to have a shuttle bus linking the store to the town, That way people would be able to use the supermarket from all over the town even if they don’t have a car. A few people might make use of it, but I don’t think it is worth all the upset and distress it is going to cause,” he said.
At the time of going to press, there was no comment from ICIS Consultants.