‘Monstrous’ 28ft towers at bottom of man’s garden were ‘built in wrong place’
A pensioner has been left furious after it emerged two 28ft towers which ‘suddenly appeared’ at the bottom of his garden had been built in the wrong place – and won’t be moved.
The towers, which contain lift shafts, form part of a footbridge at a new train station in the town of Maghull, Merseyside.
Andy Wells, 67, says the towers looming over his property have ruined his life, reports the Liverpool Echo .
He was dealt a further blow when Sefton Council confirmed that there was a half a metre ‘discrepancy’ over where they should have been built – but they won’t be moving.
Sefton Council said they expressed their ‘disappointment’ over the ‘non-compliance’ but chose not to demand a second planning application despite Network Rail’s failure to comply with the original plans.
Mr Wells said: “If this was an extension it would have to come down. You hear about people having to pull down new homes and extensions all the time because they have breached plans.
“But Sefton have said they will do nothing about this, probably because the towers are part of a £13.5m station. The letter says that the discrepancy is around 0.5m but I think its a metre.
“It does matter because these towers should be further away from my house.”
The letter to Mr Wells reads: “The discrepancy amounts to around 0.5 metres. Therefore, I am of the opinion that the tower’s position does not align with that envisaged by the approved plans having regard to the plotting of properties on Mersey Avenue.
“I consider that the tower is positioned sufficiently away from main rear elevations for there to be no adverse impact, as was explained previously to planning committee when the original application was granted.
“In the circumstances, I do not consider it expedient to invite a further planning application, though I would like to assure you that I have expressed my disappointment to Network Rail that the plan has not strictly been adhered to, in the light of wider public concern relating to the construction process.
"The Council does expect strict compliance with approved drawings and once non-compliance is established the implications must then be assessed very carefully.”
Mr Wells, who has lived on the same street with his wife for 42 years, told the Echo how the construction of the new station turned their lives upside down. He said that the couple suffered from sleep deprivation as diggers worked through the night.
Mr Wells said he was now thinking about moving house due to the towers and the on-going building work at the station, which is set to open next month. He said that the ‘military style towers’ suddenly appeared at the bottom of his garden in January and that the value of his home may have fallen by as much as 30%.
Mr Wells, who fears he will now spend his retirement staring at the towers, said: “Yes my wife and I are now thinking about moving. The towers are now covered in a dark brick, and they cast a long shadow over our garden and block the light.
“The building work has been a nightmare. There was a team of scaffold workers here recently. They were worked through the night with ratchet guns which were obviously very noisy. All you could hear was bang, bang, bang.
“There is often building work at weekend, through the night. They have floodlights and everything.
“I woke up one morning and there was a workman sat down having a cuppa staring straight at me.”
A Merseytravel and Network Rail spokesperson, said: “Maghull North station has been subject to a thorough design process. The position of the lift shaft has been planned using the nearby road bridge as a fixed datum point. The location of the constructed lift shaft is as planned to the stated distance from the bridge.
“The latest ordnance survey mapping has been overlaid onto the station design and used during public consultation. We understand that there is a slight discrepancy with the ordnance survey maps in relation to garden boundaries of Mersey Avenue properties, but they are largely accurate and have no material difference on the lift shaft position.
“We continue to work with Mersey Avenue residents in relation to the scheme, as we have throughout the works.”
A spokesman for Sefton Council said they had received a formal complaint about the location of the towers which was now being investigated.
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