Residents claim their lives are being blighted by a development behind their homes which they fear will eventually wreck their privacy.

Since work began on the former Craven District Council headquarters in Granville Street, tons of earth have been piled up and moved about the area.

Nearby residents claim their homes have been infiltrated by dust and their quiet has been disturbed by noise and flashing lights.

Claire Watters, of Hall Croft, which adjoins the development, said: “We want to know what plans there are to ensure something is done to alleviate the disturbance and ensure our privacy.

“The ground level is much higher than anticipated, constantly being raised, and if built on at this height will impinge on our privacy.

“Craven District Council says all this is acceptable. We disagree.”

She added very little had been achieved in the seven months since the development started and it would not be completed in the two years the developer claimed.

“It means more months of misery for us,” she said.

Her neighbours, Maurice and Lillian Dunphy, are equally unhappy with the way the development is proceeding and fear they will be overlooked and their privacy spoiled. “The development was approved because the planning officers believed it was acceptable and there would be no significant impact on the amenities of neighbours. This is patently untrue,” said Mrs Dunphy.

“The raised levels of these houses was never revealed by the original plans.”

She had sought some assurance about the building not impinging on their privacy at a meeting with planners on December 13 but had still not received an adequate reply.

Housebuilder Lovell was granted planning permission in February, 2012 to demolish Craven District Council’s old offices and build 57 houses, apartments and flats.

Ian Swain, the council’s development-control manager, said: “When planning permission was originally given in 2012, a planning condition was attached to the permission, requiring full information of the final levels for the site.

“A further application was received in late 2012 for amendments to parts of the site and this was also approved with the same condition.

“The application to discharge the condition and approve the final levels for the site was determined in October 2013.

“Planning-enforcement officers have regularly visited the site to check compliance with the approved plans, including the site levels, and to date are satisfied that the development is proceeding in accordance with the approved plans.”