GALLERY: Building operation endangering children, concerned March resident says

Building site in Acacia Grove, March. Neighbour Georgia Walsh showing the safety fence thats broken. Picture: Steve Williams. Building site in Acacia Grove, March. Neighbour Georgia Walsh showing the safety fence thats broken. Picture: Steve Williams.

Friday, May 30, 2014
9:43 AM

A concerned resident says a building operation is putting school children at risk.

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Building site in Acacia Grove, March. Neighbour Mitch Mitchell showing the damage to his rockery by lorries delivering to site. Picture: Steve Williams.Building site in Acacia Grove, March. Neighbour Mitch Mitchell showing the damage to his rockery by lorries delivering to site. Picture: Steve Williams.

Georgia Walsh, who lives at Acacia Grove, March, says builders working on a small plot next to her home, which used to be an allotment but will now be the site of a two storey house, have shown a lack of regard for the surroundings.

She says shrubs out the front of her home have been destroyed and a rockery owned by a neighbour has also been damaged.

There has also been damage to the pavement and Mrs Walsh is worried it is only a matter of time before a child walking to the nearby Maple Grove Infant School will be injured.

She said: “There are two construction sites near where I live - one on Ash Grove and one on Acacia Grove.

Building site in Acacia Grove, March. Picture: Steve Williams.Building site in Acacia Grove, March. Picture: Steve Williams.

“The one on Ash Grove is a totally professional operation and they sweep and clear up afterwards.

“This one (Acacia Grove) doesn’t even have a contractor’s name on it.

“There is a three foot green plastic flexible wire sticking out which is not secured and a broken pavement, which is a trip hazard for children.

“If they fall they will go face first in to the wire. I’m worried that a child will get hurt.”

The rockery which was destroyed was of great sentimental value to Mitch Mitchell, who lives in the flat above Mrs Walsh.

It was built by his late wife Diane before she died four years ago.

He said: “It meant a lot because it was made by my wife. I was pretty angry. It’s a great shame because there is not a lot of allotment space these days and this site could be a nice, small allotment.”

When Mrs Walsh confronted the builder and owner and asked for their details, her request was refused.

However, when she confronted him about the damaged shrubs he “slapped a £20 note into my hand”. For Mr Mitchell’s rockery, he gave £60.

“They have also damaged a drain cover in the street,” says Mrs Walsh. “And the owner has promised to replace it… but it’s left covered over by a concrete slab.

“And no foundation pilings were in place before the concrete mixture was laid either. It is abysmal, a complete cowboy operation.”

Plot owner Francis Twumbarmah says the pair have been compensated for any damage done and that he had done nothing wrong.

He said: “They have been compensated for the shrubs and rockery and I said I would replace the gate. What more do they want?

“They are taking out their anger on me because they don’t want the plot to be developed, but if my plan had not have been approved, they (the council) would have approved somebody else’s.

“I’ve got planning permission and have committed no offence. Hopefully the house will be ready in five to six weeks.”

Mrs Walsh has sent letters to Fenland District Council but is frustrated by the response.

She said: “They say that, since planning permission has been granted, they can’t do anything about it.”

A Fenland District Council spokesman said: “We have been in touch with Mrs Walsh and have visited the site twice - on May 21 and again on May 29. We are satisfied there are no breaches of planning permission.”

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