Rats 'all around the street' at new housing scheme – claim is denied
By The Bristol Post | Monday, November 12, 2012, 05:00
A CONTROVERSIAL housing development in Keynsham has come under fire from a resident, who claims the area is suffering from a rat infestation.
William Quibell, whose property in Dunster Road backs onto Taylor Wimpey's "K2" development, claims there is a rodent problem after he and his family have seen rats near their home.
He also claimed the developers are breaking site rules by working outside agreed hours, an allegation Taylor Wimpey has strongly denied.
Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) officials also deny that the area has a rat problem, following an investigation of the area.
Mr Quibell, who works from home, told The Post that noise from the site has disturbed his work and children's homework.
Mr Quibell, a manager for an insurance company, said: "I have never ever in my eight years living here seen a single rat, until about two months ago.
"Since then, I found them dead and alive all around the street and my wife and children see them when they get home. When you come back to find three rats the size of prize-winning turnips you know it is getting out of control."
Mr Quibell said: "At first, the company insisted they would work with us but that turned out to be just rhetoric.
"We have been in touch with them countless times and they just won't listen. We've got to the point where we are exasperated by Taylor Wimpey and don't know where to turn."
Taylor Wimpey was given the go-ahead for the new development by the Government's planning inspectorate in July last year.
Bath & North East Somerset Council had refused it permission but after a nine-day planning inquiry permission was granted. It includes 285 homes, as well as retail and industrial units, which will be built on former green-belt land near Park Road and Castle Primary School.
Residents previously told The Post that the new estate would cause traffic chaos and is "a recipe for disaster and road rage".
In an email seen by The Post, an officer from the authority's environmental protection team told Mr Quibell there was no sign of "rodent infestation" in Dunster Road, Park Road or Castle Primary School.
They said the council was unable to gain access to the building site as it was fenced off, which meant they were unable to establish if there was any significant rodent activity. The officer added that the council was arranging to gain access to the site as soon as possible.
A Taylor Wimpey spokeswoman said: "The demolitions arising at the Park Road development are made up of construction waste and do not contain any material that would attract rats to the site. With regard to the hours of work, at present no construction work is actively being carried out on the development."