Road building and gas works? It’s causing chaos!

Brooklands Road, Bedhampton''Picture: Jim Graham
Brooklands Road, Bedhampton''Picture: Jim Graham
A police car parked outside Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, earlier tonight. Picture: Byron Melton

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RESIDENTS have spoken of the ‘chaos’ caused after a gas company started digging up pipes at the same time as a new road was being built.

Jim Graham, the chairman of North Hill Bedhampton Residents’ Association, campaigned hard to stop the 92-home Scratchface Lane estate being built behind his home in Brooklands Road.

But after several hearings, including a planning appeal by the developer Crayfern, Havant Borough Council granted permission.

Now Mr Graham says he is angry that on top of the noise and disruption from the building of the new junction, Southern Gas Networks is also carrying out work, which has led to large lorries blocking up the road.

He said: ‘This has brought chaos and inconvenience to residents and visitors off and on all day.

‘I would like to know at what council managerial level the decision was made to permit gas main replacement works and the construction of a new T-junction in Brooklands Road to take place at the same time.

‘On the first day at least twice Brooklands Road was impassable for extended periods putting residents at unnecessary risk.

‘A visiting care worker was trapped for 20 minutes.

‘To compound our problems, contractors ruptured the street’s water main so Portsmouth Water is cutting off our water supply to carry out repairs. It is chaos.

‘The situation is intolerable.’

Hampshire County Council gave permission to the gas company to work in Brooklands Road.

It said the works were sanctioned to make because it will be more convenient for residents in the long run.

Councillor Seán Woodward, who is in charge of transport and environment, said: ‘I sympathise with the residents as any road, construction or utilities work comes with a level of disruption, however hard all the organisations involve try to minimise this.

‘In this case, the works on the highway have been co-ordinated so that the utility company can complete works to lower the gas main for access to the new development site and therefore negate the need for digging up this new junction at a later date.

‘As well as this, the contractor doing this work is taking the opportunity to renew the gas mains along the rest of the cul-de-sac, away from the new access, in order that all the works can be completed at the same time in this location.’