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Furious residents who staged a protest at a Gateshead business claimed to have been subjected to 15 months of misery at the hands of their noisy neighbours.
The residents, who live on the Riverside Estate in Stella, gathered outside an aggregates distribution centre on Haugh Lane i n a bid to disrupt the business by stopping vehicles getting in or out.
But no workers were on the site at the time.
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They claimed that the centre is flouting a noise abatement order and is plaguing the area with dust and the din of heavy machinery.
However, the site's owner Shaun Baldwin has denied any wrong doing.
Abi Robinson, 45, who works in training and development for an airline, has described the noise as a “nightmare”.
She said: “This year I have had to deliver remote training to hundreds of people across the globe to enable them to work from home.
”Trying to do that when you have banging and revving every day is a nightmare, you can't keep your doors or windows open.
”I have had environmental health in my back garden for the past year – I'm on first name terms with them all.
”They took so much evidence and from that they put a noise abatement order on the company, but they have taken no notice and worked through it, still generating noise, with no regard for residents at all.
”This is why we are at the point we're at now, residents have had enough.”
The site started being used for the storage and distribution of aggregates, such as gravel, sand and topsoil since April 2020.
They have lodged an application with Gateshead Council to formalise the arrangement.
So far more than 100 objections to this have been submitted to the authority.
Alan Coulthard, 72, said that the peace and quiet originally enjoyed by residents has been ruined by the operation.
He said: “We moved here two years ago and it was very peaceful sitting in the garden.
”All of a sudden this operation started up and it really effected our quality of life.
”They start up between 5.30 and 6.30 in the morning and always do the noisy work first, you hear banging and the low growling of diesel engines and the dust gets everywhere – it's horrendous.”
Kathryn O'Neill said heavy vehicles coming and going from the site put children walking to the near-by St Mary and St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School in danger.
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She added : “You get a lot of dust. My main concern is the children walking to school.
”You get huge numbers of haulage vehicles going to and fro. A lot of them [the children] are walking by themselves. It's not very safe at all.”
John Southam said: “The two things that bother me is the dust and the constant noise. There is no attempt to keep things quiet.
”I had my car valeted, the mobile valeting service left at midday and by 2pm it was already covered in dust – I don't know what we're breathing in.”
Paul Marshall, 45, said the noise coming from the site is “unbelievable.”
He said: “The noise has been horrendous, it's unbelievable. To make matters worse my children's room is at the front of my house.
”During lockdown all they could hear was them swearing and banging constantly.”
Ward councillor Chris Buckley, who represents Ryton, Crookhill and Stella, said that the facility had been making life “miserable” for residents.
He added “Over the past 15 months it has been making life miserable for people who have been working from home during the pandemic.
”He's not just breached the limit he's laughed at the limit and done what he wants.”
Shaun Baldwin, the business' managing director, denied any wrong doing or being in breach of the noise abatement order.
Haugh Lane is home to numerous industrial premises and his site has always been used for that purpose, he said.
He said: “We are working from a long established industrial site.
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”When the Stella Riverside housing was granted planning permission a noise attenuating bund was required. This recognised the industrial character of the area. Questions as to the effectiveness of that bund should be addressed to the council.”
Mr Baldwin said that he has been working with the authority and has also offered to meet with local councillors.
Mr Baldwin continued: “We recognise residents’ concerns. Further noise monitoring has recently [been] carried out and we are working with the council to seek to resolve matters. We do not consider we are in breach of the noise abatement notice.
”We have offered to discuss matters with local elected representatives but unfortunately to date that offer has not been taken up.”
Mr Baldwin also claimed that his employees had been harassed.
He added: “The recent harassment directed at the business and its employees reflects badly upon those responsible and appears to be based on misinformation and misunderstanding.
”We will continue to work with the council on an informed basis to seek to resolve matters.”
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