Local and state planners said blasting of the sort that has rattled a Windham neighborhood could become more common in Southern New Hampshire towns as developers are forced to use rocky land as the more easily developable land runs out.
After three weeks of peace and quiet, homeowners living near a site for a new business park off Ledge Road in Windham are expected to hear the sounds of blasting again starting today. A three-week moratorium on the blasting – agreed to by the developer after residents complained – ends today.
Residents have said their wells are being ruined, their foundations and floors are cracking and windows are breaking from the nearby blasting that started in October. The developer, Meadowcroft, has denied any connection between the blasting and the homeowners’ problems, but has agreed to pay for an independent study to see who is correct.
Windham selectmen Margaret Crisler and Bruce Breton said blasting is becoming a growing problem in town as the prime land runs out.
In Windham, the sound of blasting comes from one side of Route 111 on the site for the town’s first high school, and across the street where blasting and crushing rock have been going on for the new business park.
Christopher Northrop, a planner for the state Department of Energy and Planning, agreed that blasting is probably becoming more common in Windham and other Southern New Hampshire communities as the prime land is used up for development.
In Windham, where the selectmen have already faced upset homeowners twice, town officials have hired a Portsmouth environmental company to monitor the blasting off Ledge Road and conduct a study to see if damage to the homeowners’ wells and property is linked to the blasting.
Meadowcroft voluntarily stopped blasting after residents aired their concerns at a selectmen’s meeting three weeks ago. The same residents went before the selectmen again last Monday to complain about their problems.
While Meadowcroft is footing the bill for the independent study, it has denied any connection between its blasting and the problems homeowners are having with their well water or other property damage.
By John Basilesco, The Eagle-Tribune