A COUPLE who waited two years for a fence to be built were shocked to see the final product – with fears the finished product is an “accident waiting to happen”.
Paul and Sharon McSorley, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, say their old fence started falling down two years ago and have been waiting for a replacement ever since.
Ashfield District Councillors David Hennigan and Jason Zadrozny visited Paul, centre, in Bramley CourtCredit: BPM
The McSorleys say getting the new fence has been “a nightmare”
The Nottinghamshire pair were finally told a new one would be built while they were on holiday and expected to return home to a new “like-for-like” fence, which was being installed by Stonewater Housing Association.
Instead, they say the 10ft structure encroaches into their garden, on Bramley Court, leaving a gap between their yard and a nearby footpath – resulting in what the couple describe as a “great big deep drop”.
The McSorleys live near a school and are worried young children could easily fall into the gap, which they say is “quite the drop”.
The couple are also both physically disabled, and Paul, who uses a mobility scooter, says he can no longer get his mobility scooter up and over the gap.
Sharon, 62, said: “It's been a nightmare. The fence started to fall down, it's been ongoing for two years just to get to this stage.
“They started putting a new fence up but instead of putting it like-for-like, they've encroached onto our boarder which has left a great big boarder at the back which has left a great big deep drop. It's very very dangerous.
“And it's just a nightmare. We're both disabled and they've done it now to where my husband now can't turn his mobility scooter around.
“And it's on a main footpath and there's a school just up there where children come down the street. I'm absolutely terrified that a child or somebody disabled or anybody just falling down because it's about a three-foot drop.
“It's really worrying the thought of someone hurting themselves. But the fact that my husband can't get his mobility scooter out is just very stressful.”
Stonewater Housing Association, which provides social housing in the Bentinck Road and Welbeck Street areas of Sutton-in-Ashfield, erected the fence last month.
Paul, also 62, said: “What it is is the people walking by. There's lots of children and kids walking by and it's quite a drop from the footpath to my garden.
“The people that were doing the fence have left loads of rubble, loads of stones out the front of the house. And we get stones chucked at the house, bricks chucked at the house.
“We knew the job was going to be done when we were on holiday but we just assumed that the whole fence was going to be taken down in parts and it was going to be done like-for-like. But when we came back we realised it's come forward.
“But instead of taking the fence down bit-by-bit, they took the whole lot down and my front garden is completely wrecked. There's been no consideration whatsoever.
“When we came back from holiday, because I'm disabled, my family had to come round and clean all the soil and rubble away from the front door so we could get in the house – that's how bad it was.”
It's very very dangerous – it's a nightmare
Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council, who visited the site with councillor David Hennigan, said: “This is one of the worst, botched jobs I have seen in nearly 20 years representing local people. Stonewater Housing have a significant number of properties in Sutton-in-Ashfield – about 100.
“Their residents are some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in Ashfield. It’s not good enough.”
Stonewater have since apologised for the “concern” that the incident caused, and ensured they will move the fence.
A spokesperson from Stonewater, said: “We’re really sorry for the concern this has caused. Having listened to residents’ concerns, our team have visited the street to review the new fencing and temporary safety barrier that has been put in place and have confirmed that it is secure.
“We have also agreed with Mr and Mrs McSorley that we will move the new fence next to their home to get it as tight to the public footpath as possible, to ensure they have the same space as they did before. Overgrown vegetation was removed to prepare for the new concrete post fence being erected and as part of the works, our contractor will backfill between the base of the fence and the public footpath to ensure the ground level is consistent along the fence run.
“We’re working with our contracting partner to complete everything as quickly as possible and can only reiterate our apologies for the inconvenience caused in the meantime.”
Fences quite often become the centre of arguments.
Just this week a frustrated homeowner went viral after sharing his response to his petty neighbour's decision to build a fence through part of his garden.
And last month, conversations between neighbours in Leicestershire became heated over the position of a fence.
Paul McSorley is concerned about the safety of children near his new fence, as he says there's “quite a drop from the footpath”Credit: David Hennigan / facebook