RESIDENTS of a village high street have complained after they were kept awake by workmen using pneumatic drills to carry out road repairs during the night.

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Stephen Wilson, who lives in High Street, Bures claims he was given no prior warning about the road resurfacing work, which was carried out by contractors on behalf of Suffolk County Council highways department last week.

The council has defended the decision to complete the work after dark to avoid causing traffic distruption and delays. But Mr Wilson said it was “totally unreasonable” to expect people to sleep through what he described as “intolerable” levels of noise.

“While we would expect some noise similar to other recent resurfacing work carried out during the day, you just don’t expect them to be stripping tarmac and using pneumatic drills at 12.30 at night,” said Mr Wilson, who complained to the council after he was left “unable to hear the TV” in his living room because of the noise.

He added: “My partner has to get up early for work and she found it impossible after having virtually no sleep at all because of the racket outside our bedroom window.

“There were signs warning that the road would be closed for three nights and some residents received a letter informing them of this. However, there was no mention that it would be extremely noisy and although we live right next door to the works site, we were not given any prior notice at all. What they should have said was if you have young children, you might want to move out for three nights if you hope to get any sleep.”

Mr Wilson said Essex County Council had taken a “very different view” when they resurfaced parts of the road between Bures and West Bergholt adding: “They managed to keep one part clear for motorists, closed the road during the day when necessary, and put manageable diversions in place.”

According to Suffolk County Council, a letter-drop was carried out to all properties on the affected street and roads leading off it. Notices were placed on local noticeboards and the parish council was informed. A spokesman said: “The highways department has a policy of completing all considerably noisy operations before midnight. This is an agreed policy with environmental health officers from the district and borough councils. “A decision was made by the highways area office and the parish council to carry out these resurfacing works during the night in order to minimise disruption caused by the extensive diversion routes that are required while the works are carried out. Local bus companies were also considered as part of the planning process in order to minimise disruption to services.”

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