Theresa Boyd lives opposite one of the biggest building sites in London. Her home is on Wood Lane on the other side of the road to the soon-to-be-opened Westfield shopping centre. Theresa says that the construction process has made the last few years the most stressful of all during the time she’s lived in Shepherds Bush, which is why she contacted her local Councillor Mercy Umeh (Lab) to tell her about what she and other neighbours have had to endure.
Mercy says that people living close to the area have had terrible problems explaining “The construction has generated amazing levels of dirt and noise. The area is continuously dusty, getting into people’s homes, onto their belongings and covering their windows. At one point rats, escaping from a demolition on the site, ran openly down Wood Lane and into the surrounding streets. It’s been pretty miserable for most local residents. I don’t think Westfield has been a good neighbour. I am taking up this matter with them”. Theresa added “Last year Westfield sent us six chocolate truffles which they said was a “gesture”. This year we got nothing so interested to find out what lay behind their thinking I phoned them and asked why. They told me that they’d laid on an ice rink for the public instead. I went down there and it would have cost £5 for my daughter to use it. I really think they have no idea of what they’ve put us through. I thought the least they would do is clean my house. Truffles and ice rinks… It’s nonsense!”.
The Westfiled website boasts “Westfield has approximately £25 billion of assets under management in a portfolio of 119 shopping centres across the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand with 22,000 retailers and approximately 10 million sq m of retail space”. The Shepherds Bush centre is due to open this October. I hope they can find some way of making it up to residents for all the stress the construction process has caused them.