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By Hugh Boag
Calls for work to demolish the old Brodick pier to be scaled back due to incessant noise and nuisance of the works across the village have been rejected.
One resident even asked: ‘Is this to be the soundtrack to Brodick’s summer just when we are trying to get visitors back to the island?’
Contractor George Leslie Ltd is demolishing the pier, which was said to have reached the end of its serviceable life when it closed in 2018 for harbour owner Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL).
A lot of the noise comes from the jackhammer chipping away at the mass of concrete and steel which makes up the structure of the old pier. However, tide permitting, this work can go on from 7am to 7pm and can be heard across most of the village and particularly in Strathwhillan which sits above Brodick harbour.
However, the contractor and North Ayrshire Council say that, while they are sorry for the inconvenience, the work is being carried out during permitted hours and say any reduction in working hours would prolong the project.
However, it is not just the present noise and nuisance but how long this will go on for as the works, which started in April, are due to take six months.
Bob McKenzie, on a long stay in Strathwhillan Road, told the Banner: ‘I appreciate that work has to be done although, like others, I am not sure why hundreds of thousands of pounds is being spent ripping down the old pier. If that money had been invested in the new walkway it would have paid for something much more passenger-friendly.
‘But the work goes on and the problem is the timing of the jackhammer soundtrack to Brodick life. It starts before 8am and runs till about 7pm some evenings. Impressive productivity, but too much. It looks like it will take months so just trim a couple of hours a day.’
Another resident claims the pier did not require to be demolished and could have been used for another 10 years.
A CMAL spokesperson said: ‘We apologise to local residents, as we know noise from the works is unwelcome. Demolition is a disruptive activity, compounded by the fact the site is surrounded by water. The team is contractually allowed to carry out activity from 7am until 7pm, Monday to Saturday.
‘While we know this is frustrating for residents, shorter working hours would prolong the project and would mean noise disturbance throughout the whole of summer. We apologise to residents and thank them for their patience. Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to complete the demolition in as short a period as possible.’
A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: ‘We have not received any complaints on this matter and can confirm the works are being carried out during permitted hours.
‘Where there are residential properties near a construction/demolition site, it is an inevitable consequence of the development that there will be a disturbance to local residents.
‘Our environmental health service balances the rights of the developer to undertake the works against the rights of residents being subjected to excessive noise.’
The works involves the old pier store building, pier deck, support structures and all deck furniture, such as bollards and handrails, being removed. The seabed will be restored to its original state and the rock armour gap under the old pier will be protected by rock armouring to match the rest of the sea front. A new section of decorative barrier will replace the existing security gate and fence.
CMAL say all materials from the project will be disposed of responsibly.
A jackhammer at work breaking up the thick concrete of the old pier. 01_B25pier01
A wider view of the work being carried out at the pier in the shadow of Goatfell. 01_B25pier02