'So disrespectful': Neighbours' anger as 'noisy' builders turn up on day of Queen's funeral

·2-min read
The Ashtree Park development in Barnard Castle earlier today. Photograph: Stuart Boulton/The Northern Echo
The Ashtree Park development in Barnard Castle earlier today. Photograph: Stuart Boulton/The Northern Echo

Residents on a County Durham street have told of their fury after builders on a neighbouring housing development turned up on the morning of the Queen’s funeral.

Families living next to the new Ashtree Park development in Barnard Castle were left shocked when builders turned up at the Stonebridge Homes site at 7am on the public holiday on Monday (September 19).

Residents say they couldn’t believe the workers had turned up on the public holiday, going against planning restrictions, and when other businesses had closed for the day as a mark of respect to the late monarch.

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Jeanette Jupp, who lives on Ashtree Drive, just over the road from the development told The Northern Echo: “We couldn’t believe it. It’s bad enough living next to a building site but when they turned up on the day of the Queen’s funeral we were so shocked.

The Northern Echo: The Ashtree Park development in Barnard Castle. Photograph: Stuart Boulton/The Northern Echo
The Northern Echo: The Ashtree Park development in Barnard Castle. Photograph: Stuart Boulton/The Northern Echo

The Ashtree Park development in Barnard Castle. Photograph: Stuart Boulton/The Northern Echo

“It was one of our neighbours who put it in our street group chat because they saw the builders coming at 7am.

“It caused us so much stress before the funeral. We all tried ringing the council and developers to get them to go, it’s so disrespectful when other businesses had closed for the day and they thought they could keep on working.”

It is understood the builders were then told to leave the site at around 10.30am on Monday morning.

The developers have now offered an apology to nearby residents for the error.

A spokesperson for Stonebridge Homes said: “We advised all of our sub-contractors last week that our sites would be closed yesterday as we joined the nation in paying our respects to the Queen and the Royal family on this sad day.

The Northern Echo: The Ashtree Park development in Barnard Castle. Photograph: Stuart Boulton/The Northern Echo
The Northern Echo: The Ashtree Park development in Barnard Castle. Photograph: Stuart Boulton/The Northern Echo

The Ashtree Park development in Barnard Castle. Photograph: Stuart Boulton/The Northern Echo

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“When we were advised that there were people working on site, we spoke to our sub-contractor and they left with immediate effect.

“We apologise for any distress this has caused, as we closed our business for the day, and had advised stakeholders of that.”

Durham County Council has confirmed that the work on Monday morning went against the developers’ planning requirements which prohibit working on bank holidays.

Stephen Reed, Durham County Council’s planning development manager, told The Echo: “After being made aware of work taking place at the site on Monday morning, we made contact with the developers.

“As a result, construction was put on hold until Tuesday morning in accordance with planning requirements.”

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