We’re terrified our homes will collapse as new build estate makes them crack | The SunSeptember 22, 2022
HOMEOWNERS have been fearing their properties will collapse on top of them after works at a huge new housing development has left their homes shaking and riddled with cracks.
The deafening squeal of diggers and clouds of dust billowing over homes in Bulkington, Warks, have driven locals up the wall.
But now they fear the sprawling nearby Taylor Wimpey development is also causing zig-zag cracks in their bricks.
Neighbours worry the fractures could signal a problem with the foundations of their homes – but say they have struggled to get answers from the housing giant.
The Raveloe Gardens project will see 188 homes built yards from homes on former agricultural land.
But at least 15 residents have reported cracks, including pensioner Valerie Shufflebotham, 79.
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The retired British Gas worker said she fears her house of 45 years could topple down if work goes on unchecked.
She told Sun Online: "I've got big cracks that have suddenly appeared on the back of my house – I know that they weren't there before.
"My granddaughter's room has just been redecorated and there's a crack that's appeared through the lintel.
"I'm worried that the house might not be standing in two months. But Taylor Wimpey won't send anyone out to have a look, even to reassure me.
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"My granddaughter says she has nightmares that the house is going to fall down while she's asleep.
"The building work is going to go on for another two years and I'm extremely worried. The anxiety is horrendous."
After noticing the step-cracks Valerie surveyed her street.
She said 15 people had noticed cracks, while 43 said they had been affected by thick dust blowing from the construction site.
Twenty-two said vibrations from site machinery was affecting them – while 27 said they were concerned over the levels of noise.
Other reported seeing workmen urinating and smoking on the job.
Valerie added: "I wake up in the morning and it feels like someone is shaking the bed. People have got videos of their radiators banging against the walls."
"There are lots of pensioners who are at home all day with the vibrations ringing in their ears and they're getting quite down about it."
You sit on the toilet and it just vibrates!
Neighbours say they have tried to contact developers Taylor Wimpey but all they get are "standard lines that they are 'looking into it'".
"They don't appear to care about us in the slightest", Valerie slammed.
The housing giant says it has taken tests to check the levels of vibrations and claim they are within approved limits.
Retired legal secretary Teresa Williamson, 68, said she had spotted a worsening crack in her garage floor.
She said: "There was a crack already but it does seem to have got worse since they started building.
"The vibrations are relentless. You sit on the toilet and it just vibrates. If you were constipated it would be pretty helpful!"
Dust produced from the endless works has also turned cars orange – forcing residents to wash their cars twice a week.
And residents can't hang out their clothes to dry as they "just get covered".
Meanwhile residents are too scared to open their windows because of the dust.
Angry residents have set up a private Facebook group to flag concerns.
I wake up in the morning and it feels like someone is shaking the bed
A man trying to sell his late mother's semi-detached home told how he feared £20,000 had been knocked off its value.
He claimed he had 17 viewings since March with not even slight interest.
Blurb on the Taylor Wimpey website boasts: "If you want to settle in a rural, but well-connected, village then Raveloe Gardens is perfect for you.
"Surrounded by countryside and offers a real sense of community, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to shops and entertainment facilities."
The development has also caused misery for pensioner Ian Castledine, 81, and his wife Virginia, 80.
A mound of excavated rubble now overlooks their garden where their home of 50 years once had spectacular views.
Dust plumes billowing from the pile mean they often cannot open their windows or hang out washing.
Virginia said: "When we were in the drought it was awful.
"The car was covered in so much dust we were able to write 'Taylor Wimpey' on the windscreen.
"We've contacted environmental health but had nothing back. We're worried about what we are breathing in."
Ian, a retired development company liaison officer, added: "I've written to Taylor Wimpey several times about the vibrations.
"They shake the wardrobes in the house and you can sense the movement.
"I did ask them about vibration monitoring which they said they had – but we've never seen the results of that."
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A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise to all residents for any disturbance they may have experienced as a result of our initial site excavation works.
"We regularly monitor the works being carried out at the Raveloe Gardens development to ensure that disruption to residents is kept to an absolute minimum."
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