A housing association must pay thousands after lorries rampaged through roads causing damage to cars and a kitchen window to fall out of a flat.
Vehicles used by Ardmore, the contractor employed by Catalyst Housing, were not following agreed routes in and out of the Wornington Green regeneration development in North Kensington.
They were driving down unauthorised routes through Golborne Market in Golborne Road and despite multiple warnings by council officers to stick to the approved routes, they continued their rampage campaign which caused a kitchen window to fall out of a flat and reportedly left a shop owner’s car with £300 of damage.
Catalyst was fined £9,000 on Tuesday (August 12) and ordered to pay the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s costs of £6,900 after pleading guilty at Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court for bypassing an agreed construction traffic management plan.
Tony Richardson owns Arbon Interiors in Golborne Road which backs onto the construction site.
“They used a pile driver which made the premises shake," he said. "They denied using it - it was only the operator of the machine who told me what it was. The kitchen window from the flat over the shop fell through and there were cracks in my shop window.”
He claims an Ardmore lorry crashed into his car, causing £300 worth of damage, and knocked a security camera down.
He added: “It was a catalogue of issues. I went to complain but their public relations were appalling, the manager laughed in my face. He was unsympathetic and just exacerbated the situation by blaming the landlord for not keeping the building in a good state of repair. He also denied ever using the pile driver. They have been very unprofessional with their attitude to complaints and I’d be glad to see the back of them.”
Emma Dent Coad, councillor for Golborne ward and leader of the borough’s opposition Labour group, said the prosecution is the result of nearly a year’s work of observation, recording and photographing lorries breaching the rules of the plan.
“I have stood in front of lorries, been beeped and violently sworn at. Countless e-mails were sent before the council agreed to take this problem seriously,” she said. “It really should not take this much effort from a councillor to stop contractors behaving illegally in the borough.”
A spokesman from Catalyst Housing said they fully accept their contractors breached the agreed traffic management plan and take full responsibility for their failure to comply. “Safety is always our primary concern. We take breaches of the plan very seriously and have reviewed our procedures with the contractor and will implement going forward on this project.”