Pensioner blames cracks on builders

PUBLISHED: 16:49 01 February 2011

Cracks have appeared in the ceilings of this house in Garden Walk, directly next to a development site.

Cracks have appeared in the ceilings of this house in Garden Walk, directly next to a development site.

Daniel Wilson

A ROYSTON pensioner has claimed her life is being made "a misery" by disruptive building works taking place next to her house.

Jeanne Buriatte of 69 Garden Walk is living next door to a site where two four-bedroom bungalows are being erected, and claims that the works have caused cracks to appear in her roof.

However, constructors Marcon have dismissed this idea is “extremely unlikely,” saying the type of work they are carrying out would not cause this damage.

Mrs Buriatte, who has lived in her house for 15 years, said: “There was a whirring noise going on while I was sitting in my living room, and I felt something land on me. I looked up at the ceiling and saw it had begun to crack.

“The noise has been going on from 8am until 10am and it’s been making my life a misery. I now have cracks in my ceiling in four different rooms of my house, and I’m convinced it’s to do with the building work as they have only just appeared.”

The site has had a controversial past, with planning permission being rejected three times over the past five years and various petitions being submitted.

It has been visited on several occasions by councillors since an application was first submitted, but it was eventually passed after plans were moderated in 2007.

“They should never be building there in the first place. Nobody on this road wants it there, and they are ruining the street,” said the 67-year-old.

“I have had my driveway blocked while stuff was being unloaded too, and they never asked my permission for that.

“I am a vulnerable person and this is causing me and the other old people down this road no end of trouble.”

Mrs Buriatte has had her ceiling looked at by an independent plasterer, who recommended re-plastering

Martin Rockley, managing director or Marcon, didn’t think that the works had led to the cracks.

“We do consider it to be extremely unlikely that the works next door have created any problems to her ceilings.

“The main reasons for structural movement caused to a property are tree heaves, clay shrinkage, desiccation, impact damage, water erosion, frost or vibration.

“If vibration were the cause, one would expect to see vertical cracking on the external and internal walls, neither of which is present. It is extremely unusual for cracking only to manifest it’s self on the ceilings.”

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