Prior to having their gardens dug up and the topsoil replaced, residents of Silwood were sent a sheet of “Frequently Asked Questions” as an attachment to a letter from L&Q. The FAQ sheet covers matters such as whether the residents’ houses will be entered during the works, what will happen to sheds and garden furniture, and if any fences will be moved. As various conversations with the residents suggest, (along with common sense, of course), the questions covered are not even close to the ones really requiring answers.
When explaining why the work is taking place, the sole answer given is that the present soil does not “meet current guidelines”. Surely it is necessary for the residents to know what the soil is actually contaminated with? Are there any health implications to eating produce from this soil? Due to lack of information, rumours of asbestos and cancer are spreading through the Silwood estate. Why were the residents given such short notice, eliminating the option of planning ahead and rescuing all possible plantations in time for the works?
The £250 compensation for “the inconvenience” is the final issue addressed on the sheet; but there is no detail what the compensation is for. The “inconvenience” is certainly longer than the two weeks stated. So will the compensation be more?
Would the residents really be more interested in whether they can “use the patio area” during the works, than if their physical health is under threat? Probably not, no.
Next blog: Will Higgins answer the frequently asked questions residents urgently need answering?