Whether it is traffic or noise, the impact of building schemes locally are heaping misery on many in Shepperton and the surrounding areas.
I live 1.5 miles away from the inappropriately named Eco Park. For some weeks I have wondered what the dull thud was that I could hear from my office. No big deal to me, just a minor irritation. But this is from someone who lives right next to this huge building nightmare and I can’t imagine what they are going through:

“My neighbours and I have had it up to our eyeballs in the last few months. We have had to contend with constant works due to the drainage problem overflowing into our streets, resulting in maintenance men pretty much camping on the green outside our door for months, building works with trucks turning in our road and all sorts of nonsense. I have had to just get on with it, but as a busy teacher it has taken it out of me. The pounding from piles being put into the recycling centre is now just one step too far and we have had enough.

The constant pounding starts from 8.00am. It is giving me migraines and is exacerbating my husband’s tinnitus. I cannot concentrate on any work because of this incessant and infuriating torture which is getting on our nerves. It is also robbing us of the pleasure of going into our garden.” Angie Andrews

It is not only the Eco Park which is causing trouble to the community (we have already covered the queues, the restrictions etc in previous issues). It is now also the realisation that gravel extraction is indeed on the cards and will start shortly. We did also report on this when it was a threat and the community rallied to get it stopped, but as is the want of local such projects, it was passed in the end and will be affecting us all for years to come before we are ‘rewarded’ with having a nature reserve when it is all put back to a peaceful place. One local picked up on the planning and the fact that the land is flood plain:

“Whilst I have been told that CEMEX hope to get round their previous refusal by putting in a clay liner for their extraction I can’t understand why they should be allowed to succeed. I understand that quite a few people have been denied extensions to their property because of ‘adverse effects on the flood plain’. If a small domestic work is not permitted because of its effects on the flood plain, I dread to think what those effects would be with such a monumental project.”

Editor responds: We gather that you are not alone! Apparently the EA has also raised concerns that the works “pose an unacceptable increased risk of water pollution” so CEMEX will have to satisfy the EA before proceeding with their application to Surrey CC.

Our reader continues: “One glimmer of hope! We have been told about water vole in the River Ash and one of their inspectors specialising in this animal has been to have a preliminary look. She says it is an ideal site for water vole and is hopeful that it may offer reasons to prevent works. She is intending to return and do a more thorough search.

So there is a hope that water vole might save us where decency and common sense will not. With the River Ash flowing through the site the risks of contamination and irretrievable damage being done is tremendous, one cannot explain to the wildlife that it will all be better in 6 years time. They will all be dead by then. (Editors note: there are also reports of otters living in the creek above the river Ash inlet).

And what about the Swan Sanctuary which is going to be very close to the concrete crusher?

Apart from we residents who live next to the area and will have years of suffering from all this, what about the impact it will have on motorists who I see stuck in traffic every day outside my house on the A244, trying to cross Walton Bridge? They have no clue that the traffic is likely to increase by up to 400 lorries a day. The holdups will be even worse and more people will be driven to do risky manoeuvers to escape, as I have witnessed many times.

I have taken it upon myself to notify motorists. I made a sign which was up for about a week before someone took it down. Who by, I don’t know. Was someone afraid of the motorists finding out and complaining?

I’ve made another sign and am wondering how long that will stay” Jean Koziel

The truth is that everyone in the area will be affected by both these projects for years to come. Noise, dust and jams will rule our world