Stafford St blues

Brian Pickett views one of the sites

Residents of a small divided section of Stafford St in Gerroa, who have been putting up with major building works in their street for over two and a half years, have had enough of the noise,
dust and traffic issues and are reluctant to accept little can be done about it.

“The houses are enormous, and drop deep down from the roadway where they hit a rock shelf,” says Brian Pickett.

“The noise when they are cutting that is deafening.

“People have started calling it Stafford Quarry.”

With four building sites already on the low side of the street (three active as one is subject to a legal case), and another DA approved for the high side, the street is a hive of activity.

“We’ve complained to Council about the amount of parking on the street, as we feel it is a real safety hazard, but there doesn’t appear to be anything they can do.”

When work happened on a Sunday, neighbours took on the added worry that local builders would be taking advantage of the COVID-19 easing on construction work hour restrictions

To ensure major construction sites could continue working after implementing social distancing rules, the industry is now allowed to operate 24/7 across the state.

Joel Stewart, of Lime Building Group, is building two of the houses on the street.

He says there is no way that local builders will be utilising the extended hours as standard practice.

“We had a contractor down one weekend to do a specialist aspect of a job, as it was the best way to fit it into his schedule,” says Mr Stewart.

Even though they are allowed to operate 24/7, he says people shouldn’t fear it is going to happen.

“I’ve already got my blokes working 40 hour weeks, and no one wants to do more.

“The extra costs involved with Sunday and after dark work just aren’t commercially viable for house building.”

Mr Pickett has appealed to Council for construction approvals to be staged, but has not received a response.

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