Plans for a controversial temporary works compound in York have been changed to move the Network Rail facility further away from people’s homes.
Neighbours received a letter in February saying that the construction compound was due to open in Moor Lane in nine days and would be in place for just under three years.
Work is due to take place 24 hours a day and will include piling as part of plans to upgrade the line between York and Church Fenton.
One couple living near the site said £55,000 had been wiped off the value of their house and the buyers of the property pulled out of the sale as a result of the plans.
Cllr Stephen Fenton met with Network Rail to share residents’ worries – saying they need to know what work will take place and when.
Network Rail now plans to put the construction site further away from the homes in Moor Lane so it will be 123 metres from houses – compared to 40 metres previously. It says it will put machinery furthest from the homes to minimise noise.
In a letter to residents, the company says the plans have not yet been finalised. But it will give residents a month’s notice before work begins and hold a session for them to ask questions. Work is likely to start later this year and last until February 2024.
Two months of worry
Cllr Fenton welcomed plans to revise the construction compound.
He said: “I am pleased that Network Rail have come up with a new proposal that will move the compound further way from homes on Moor Lane.
“It’s just a pity that this has come after two months of worry and stress for many affected residents, which could have been avoided if Network Rail had engaged with residents and local councillors earlier.
“I welcome the commitment to hold an engagement event, which will be important as there remain many unanswered questions around how highway safety will be managed on a very busy road, and what steps will be taken to minimise the nuisance to residents caused by the operation of the compound.”
He said residents and councillors were shocked to first hear of the plans in February shortly before work was due to begin. And that the news directly led to the sale of a home falling through at the last minute, which caused the owners considerable distress.
In the letter Network Rail thanks residents for their patience and says they “understand that carrying out this work is far from ideal for those living closest to the railway”.
It says: “We would like to apologise for the lack of detail in the information provided originally and understand the importance of being a good neighbour to our local communities.”