Grangemouth resident dreams of sound of silence

27-02-2013. Picture Michael Gillen. GRANGEMOUTH. Bank Street. Home of Valerie Mackintosh whose life has been made a nightmare by Helix work next to her back garden.
27-02-2013. Picture Michael Gillen. GRANGEMOUTH. Bank Street. Home of Valerie Mackintosh whose life has been made a nightmare by Helix work next to her back garden.
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Fed-up mum Valerie Mackintosh claims her life has been made a misery by work on a new tourist attraction.

The Helix development is expected to bring in thousands of visitors when the first phase opens later this year with its landmark giant Kelpie horse head sculptures.

However, people living in Grangemouth’s Old Town, including Valerie (45), said it has been unbearable as construction work continues on the River Carron next to their homes.

She said: “The noise and disruption is awful. It is like living in a washing machine on spin cycle.

“Don’t get me wrong, I think the Helix will be brilliant when it is finished, but at the moment it is a nightmare. My house shakes constantly and I’ve been forced to go to my mum’s house in Laurieston to get a decent sleep.”

Valerie, who has lived in Bank Street for 12 years, said workers from contractors Balfour Beatty have been working outwith the agreed hours, revving engines early in the morning.

She added: “It’s been awful. When I complained they said it had been frosty and they were de-icing the machinery.”

Valerie, who works long shifts in a Stenhousemuir bookmakers, said some nights she was getting as little as three hours sleep.

Grangemouth councillor Allyson Black contacted Mike King from the Helix after Valerie told her of the noise problem. She said: “The contractor has to be more aware of people living in the area.”

Apologising for the disturbance, Mr King, the Helilx programme director, said: “We are making every effort to minimise the impact of our activities on local residents. The majority of our long duration piling work has been completed.

“Balfour Beatty has spoken to its on-site team and instructed them to avoid running or revving of engines and plant outwith 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Should this be unavoidable, it will be parked at areas remote from local residents.”

He promised to try to minimise the noise from pumps that run overnight to get rid of water from excavations caused by tidal flow.