NEIGHBOURS of the former nurses’ home Fairfield House are fed up with the amount of dust being produced by the demolition of the site.
The building on West Green Drive, is being knocked down by Willbea Demolition, which said it was doing all it could to prevent dust from occurring.
The tower block has been branded an eyesore after standing derelict for six years and will make way for a new development of homes to be used by NHS workers.
Lyn Blunden, of Sunnymead, said: “We have all been very patient with the building because it has taken such a long time to come down.
“The amount of dust has meant the children can’t go out to play – there is just so much of it.
“We can’t even go out in the garden or put washing out and the weather has been absolutely wonderful”.
Ivor Blunden, 70, of Sunnymead, said: “I don’t think they are spraying enough water. I’m worried about our health and how it’s affecting everyone – especially the children around here.”
Ian Simmons, owner of Willbea Demolition, said demolition was expected to take around four weeks.
He said: “We are doing everything we can. We have a dust buster which sprays water to around 20 to 30 metres and when we are knocking the concrete down we put it on.
“We have asked the water board to use their hydrant, which the fire service use, for dusting down and enables us to control the dust a lot easier but they won’t let us.
“It would mean we could get more water pressure and we could use a cherry picker to get above the building and fire water at it creating less dust.”
Crawley Borough Council confirmed it had received complaints about the dust from the demolition of Fairfield House.
A council spokesperson said: “Demolition work is dusty work and the council believes the site manager is taking reasonable steps to minimise dust, for example using water sprays.
“However, Southern Water has prevented him from using high pressure water from its hydrant that would reach the top of the building because it would affect water distribution elsewhere in Crawley.
“Once the building is down to the lower floors in the next few days the water sprayers will be more effective.”
Southern Water said it generally would not refuse a company the use of water from the distribution network but there may have been an operational reason for the decision.
A Southern Water spokesperson said: “In this case, however, there may have been an operational reason to refuse permission, for example, the risk of a sudden decrease of water pressure to customers in the surrounding area.
“In general terms, a company wishing to use our network must apply and seek approval for a ‘temporary building supply’ during the demolition and construction of a site. The water supply would then be metered so we can monitor usage and charges apply”.
It said its Developer Services Team would determine if it had sufficient capacity in the network to supply the site.