Pensioner loses battled against 28ft railway lift towers over house

Pensioner’s fury as he learns monstrous 28ft railway lift towers which loom over his house were built in wrong place but they STILL won’t be knocked down

  • Andy Wells, 67, claims the towers which ‘suddenly appeared’ in looming over his property have ‘ruined his life’ 
  • Towers, which contain lift shafts, form part of a footbridge at the new Maghull North Station on Merseyside 
  • The council have admitted there was a half a metre ‘discrepancy’ over where they should have been built

A beleaguered pensioner has been told that two 28ft towers which ‘suddenly appeared’ at the bottom of his garden and ‘turned his life upside down’ were built in the wrong place.

Andy Wells, 67, says that the towers looming over his property have ruined his life. But he was dealt a further blow when Sefton Council admitted there was a half a metre ‘discrepancy’ over where they should have been built.

Sefton Council expressed its ‘disappointment over the non-compliance’ but chose not to demand a second planning application despite Network Rail’s failure to adhere to the original plans.

Furious homeowner Andy Wells, 67, says that the towers looming over his property have ‘ruined his life’

The towers, which contain lift shafts, form part of a footbridge at the new Maghull North Station on Merseyside

Mr Wells, who has lived on Mersey Avenue with his wife for 42 years, said the construction of the new station had 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 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 value of his home may have fallen by as much as a third.

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 it’s a metre.

‘It does matter because these towers should be further away from my house.’

Mr Wells said he was thinking about moving house due to the towers and said that the value of his home may have fallen by as much as a third

The homeowner said building work has been a ‘nightmare’

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 added: ‘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 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.’

Sefton Council expressed its ‘disappointment over the non-compliance’ but chose not to demand a second planning application despite Network Rail’s failure to adhere to the original plans

Merseyrail previously published these plans for the station. Mr Wells’ house is in the top left-hand corner of the diagram

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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