‘We’ve had dog mess thrown at us and abuse’, say Druitt Gardens development workers

CONTROVERSY: Kennedy Bevis, left, contracts manager, and Graham Snowley, contracts manager at The Hackwood Group at the Cornfactor site

Artist’s impression of how the finished Cornfactor development will look

First published in News
Last updated
by

DEVELOPERS of a controversial Christchurch development involved in the Druitt Gardens tree felling have spoken of the abuse suffered by staff.

Construction workers at the Cornfactor site in Christchurch say they have been subjected to verbal abuse, confrontation and even had dog mess thrown at them since work started on the town centre site.

The development to build 26 new retirement apartments behind the high street has proved one of the most contentious issues in the town in years.

Objections were made over the development demolishing a historical building with ongoing issues over protected trees being felled only worsening the situation.

Kennedy Bevis, contracts manager at The Hackwood Group, who are overseeing the construction project, said: “Apart from all the abuse we’ve suffered, we’ve even had to stop a member of the public threatening to throw himself under a concrete lorry to prevent a delivery to site.

“We have had to put up with a lot over the last six months. It’s the small minority but it’s been very unpleasant for everyone who works here.

“What they don’t realise is that most of the lads we employ are local who just come to work to do their job and then go home to their families.

“They don’t deserve the abuse they are getting.”

Robert Taylor, pictured left, managing director at Renaissance Retirement, said the development would create new jobs for local people and ‘help boost the local economy’.

“We take the preservation of local heritage very seriously at all of our sites and we work hard to ensure that as far as possible our builds are sympathetic with local landscape and heritage,” he said.

“The majority of people of Christchurch want us here and the old Cornfactor building re-developed. We know this because we have had so much positive feedback from local people.”

He added: “People have to remember that the site has been sitting there for over 30 years – completely under-utilised.

“We have a superb vision for the development which will link the high street with Druitt Gardens.

“We have agreed to make £50,000 of enhancements to Druitt Gardens to help make it a wonderful place to spend time.

“This all must be good news for the area.”

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:17pm Fri 8 Aug 14

twynham says...

How does Robert Taylor reconcile his comment “We take the preservation of local heritage very seriously at all of our sites" with that of Director David Barnes who said at Tuesday's meeting "they were shocked the developer carried on with the fateful dig after two trees were damaged"?
How does Robert Taylor reconcile his comment “We take the preservation of local heritage very seriously at all of our sites" with that of Director David Barnes who said at Tuesday's meeting "they were shocked the developer carried on with the fateful dig after two trees were damaged"? twynham
  • Score: 15

12:33pm Fri 8 Aug 14

wool525 says...

its a bloody tree, plant another one
its a bloody tree, plant another one wool525
  • Score: -16

12:46pm Fri 8 Aug 14

twynham says...

wool525 wrote:
its a bloody tree, plant another one
There were four and they all had TPOs.
[quote][p][bold]wool525[/bold] wrote: its a bloody tree, plant another one[/p][/quote]There were four and they all had TPOs. twynham
  • Score: 9

1:11pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Branksome snail says...

Hmmm, yes there's a reason they are getting abuse. Slyly felling protected trees in the small hours of the morning perhaps.
Hmmm, yes there's a reason they are getting abuse. Slyly felling protected trees in the small hours of the morning perhaps. Branksome snail
  • Score: 6

1:16pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Branksome snail says...

quote.........Neil Farmer, Strategic Director at Christchurch Borough Council, said: “We were contacted by the developer at the Cornfactor site last night as he was concerned about the state of two more trees whose roots had been uncovered close to the boundary of the development.

"Our tree officer went down to inspect the site at first light this morning and saw that the trees were indeed in a dangerous state.

"From a health and safety standpoint, the tree officer recommended felling the trees and I accepted this was necessary.....un-quo
te....

Just how little stuffing of an envelope does CBC need I wonder?....
quote.........Neil Farmer, Strategic Director at Christchurch Borough Council, said: “We were contacted by the developer at the Cornfactor site last night as he was concerned about the state of two more trees whose roots had been uncovered close to the boundary of the development. "Our tree officer went down to inspect the site at first light this morning and saw that the trees were indeed in a dangerous state. "From a health and safety standpoint, the tree officer recommended felling the trees and I accepted this was necessary.....un-quo te.... Just how little stuffing of an envelope does CBC need I wonder?.... Branksome snail
  • Score: 6

1:51pm Fri 8 Aug 14

kalebmoledirt says...

Put up a sign ,dig shot throwers may be cut down in the early hours ,dirty stinkers
Put up a sign ,dig shot throwers may be cut down in the early hours ,dirty stinkers kalebmoledirt
  • Score: 4

4:32pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Bournefre says...

Some people's attitude towards front line workers is sickening - they seem to view a person who goes to work to earn a living as some corporate drone instead of thinking about how the same kind of abuse could be directed at their own children or grandchildren.
Some people's attitude towards front line workers is sickening - they seem to view a person who goes to work to earn a living as some corporate drone instead of thinking about how the same kind of abuse could be directed at their own children or grandchildren. Bournefre
  • Score: 7

5:55pm Fri 8 Aug 14

aquasplash3 says...

Very smelly
Very smelly aquasplash3
  • Score: 0

9:32am Sat 9 Aug 14

xchresident says...

The Council's own report cited 'omissions, flaws, and mistaken assumptions' and clearly the recent actions or in-actions of Council Officers and Councillors-- on Leader Ray Nottage's watch--either inadvertently or deliberately, allowed this whole planning fiasco to occur. It is gross over-development and trees in Druitt Gardens were blatently sacrificed. The development is advertised as 'Druitt's Park ' (google it)-- flat sales will gross something well over 6 million and the advert which pre-dates the felling shows trees already gone. Fines would simply be a gnat-bite.

There might be some Christchurch residents who are delighted by the result. Others are disgusted.

Unfortunately the contractor and his workers are there on the ground and presumably carrying out instructions from Renaissance Retirement.
8 foot hoardings closing off the footpath have screened all from view so the part of Druitt Gardens behind them is hidden from public sight--allowing branches to be lopped off protected trees. Sure, they're only doing their job but its not always popular.

Once again people on the ground are taking the rap for those at the top.
The Council's own report cited 'omissions, flaws, and mistaken assumptions' and clearly the recent actions or in-actions of Council Officers and Councillors-- on Leader Ray Nottage's watch--either inadvertently or deliberately, allowed this whole planning fiasco to occur. It is gross over-development and trees in Druitt Gardens were blatently sacrificed. The development is advertised as 'Druitt's Park ' (google it)-- flat sales will gross something well over 6 million and the advert which pre-dates the felling shows trees already gone. Fines would simply be a gnat-bite. There might be some Christchurch residents who are delighted by the result. Others are disgusted. Unfortunately the contractor and his workers are there on the ground and presumably carrying out instructions from Renaissance Retirement. 8 foot hoardings closing off the footpath have screened all from view so the part of Druitt Gardens behind them is hidden from public sight--allowing branches to be lopped off protected trees. Sure, they're only doing their job but its not always popular. Once again people on the ground are taking the rap for those at the top. xchresident
  • Score: 3

5:56pm Sat 9 Aug 14

Crank says...

Robert Taylor, now not exactly beloved of even the Planning Department, really needs an award for irony. He says: “We take the preservation of local heritage very seriously at all of our sites and we work hard to ensure that as far as possible our builds are sympathetic with local landscape and heritage,” he said.
I was weeping with incredulous laughter. Well, Robert, how did you manage to get through planning the total demolition of the 250-year-old, locally listed Cornfactor building? And how did you then oversee the trashing of mature trees on the Druitt Gardens side of your boundary, only weeks after locals got a Preservation Order on them? And you're going to replant? Yeah? With woodland trees as before? Get away. No - it'll be wildlife-useless ornamentals. We know you and your sort of developer, and it's the w***t sort with the w***t council, a truly unholy alliance (mustn't be abusive, we are told, however deserving).
Robert Taylor, now not exactly beloved of even the Planning Department, really needs an award for irony. He says: “We take the preservation of local heritage very seriously at all of our sites and we work hard to ensure that as far as possible our builds are sympathetic with local landscape and heritage,” he said. I was weeping with incredulous laughter. Well, Robert, how did you manage to get through planning the total demolition of the 250-year-old, locally listed Cornfactor building? And how did you then oversee the trashing of mature trees on the Druitt Gardens side of your boundary, only weeks after locals got a Preservation Order on them? And you're going to replant? Yeah? With woodland trees as before? Get away. No - it'll be wildlife-useless ornamentals. We know you and your sort of developer, and it's the w***t sort with the w***t council, a truly unholy alliance (mustn't be abusive, we are told, however deserving). Crank
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree