‘It is like living at ground zero’ – University of Sheffield building work makes couple’s life ‘a misery’

A frustrated couple say major new building work at the University of Sheffield makes them feel like they are ‘living at ground zero’.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 2:52 pm
Updated Friday, 20th September 2019, 3:04 pm

Conor O’Callaghan and his wife Mary say their lives are being ‘made a misery’ by the noise, dust and disruption being caused by building work on the university’s new four-storey social science block on Northumberland Road.

The couple - who live on the adjoining Marlborough Road - are now appealing for the contractor to compensate them for having to live on what feels like a building site for the best part of three years.

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Conor O'Callaghan who lives on Marlborough Road sas their life is being made a misery by development work at Sheffield University. Picture: Chris Etchells

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He said: “There are three mile-high cranes over our garden and the noise is absolutely deafening. It is making our home life unbearable.

“You can’t use the back garden as it was unlivable over the summer and some of the resident’s bedrooms at the care home next door are just yards away from the work.

“We have complained to the University and the Council already but now we want compensation.

“They’re not going to stop, we’re not going to move. Their work is interfering profoundly with our family life.”

Conor O'Callaghan who lives on Marlborough Road sas their life is being made a misery by development work at Sheffield University. Picture: Chris Etchells

Conor said he and Mary are woken by the sound of ‘massive’ drilling at 7am in the morning six days a week, which goes on until about 6pm and continues on Saturday mornings.

He added that the residents in the James Smith House care home nearby - one of which is his mother-in-law - are also suffering with many unable to hold conversations without shouting.

“It is laughable,” said Conor.

“The other morning it was like being at ground zero.”

Conor O'Callaghan who lives on Marlborough Road sas their life is being made a misery by development work at Sheffield University. Picture: Chris Etchells

Work on the building began in April and is due to be completed in 2021. Once finished it will act as a ‘hub’ for thousands of students and academics across a range of disciplines.

A spokesperson for the University of Sheffield said: “We have been liaising closely with all residents on Marlborough Road about the nearby construction of our new social science building.

“It is inevitable that building work of this nature will cause some disruption, however, an environmental protection officer from the Council visited the site recently and was satisfied we were using all reasonable measures and best practice to mitigate noise and work within the conditions our our planning permission."

Conor O'Callaghan who lives on Marlborough Road sas their life is being made a misery by development work at Sheffield University. Picture: Chris Etchells