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WATCH: Whole house shakes as drilling work on building site brings couple close to tears

PUBLISHED: 09:05 30 January 2019

The pounding-machine that was used for drilling work at a Persimmon Homes building site in Martham. Picture: Paul Holmes.

The pounding-machine that was used for drilling work at a Persimmon Homes building site in Martham. Picture: Paul Holmes.

Archant

A Norfolk couple has described how drilling at a nearby building site has made living in their home like being in "an earthquake".

And a shocking video from Sharon and James Holmes, from Back Lane in Martham, shows how the shaking has caused the house to vibrate and left them close to tears.

The couple, both in their fifties, live next to a Persimmon Homes development.

On December 10, houses in the area received a letter from Gary Lambert Construction Ltd, a company subcontracted by the developer, stating that ”ground stabilisation works” were to begin that day and would finish by January 18.

The pounding of a drilling rig has caused houses in the area to shake, reaching “fever pitch” on January 23, when the rig was only five metres from their house, Mrs Holmes said.

The drilling work, which Sharon Holmes, 56, compared to an The drilling work, which Sharon Holmes, 56, compared to an "earthquake", shook this terracotta flowerpot from the table in her back garden and smashed it on the ground. Picture: Paul Holmes.

In the hallway the chandelier’s droplets were trembling and the coffeepot spilled over on the hob, while a terracotta plant pot fell from a garden table and smashed on the ground.

“The only thing I can liken it to is an earthquake,” Mrs Holmes said, adding: “I was shaken, I was near to tears. It was truly scary. The whole house was just moving.”

Across the road, Sandy Sparks, 69, lives in an early Victorian house.

She was playing Lego with her three-year-old grandson in the living-room when the house began to shake and the pieces of Lego began to tremble.

The drilling-work shook a terracotta flower pot from a table in the back garden and smashed it on the ground. Picture: Paul Holmes.The drilling-work shook a terracotta flower pot from a table in the back garden and smashed it on the ground. Picture: Paul Holmes.

Mrs Holmes said her husband had tried to contact the company several times and left messages.

“But no-one has bothered to get back to us. No-one seems to be listening to us. This is what hurts the most, I think, is that no-one seems to care.”

Last week an environmental services officer from Great Yarmouth Borough Council visited the site and spoke with the residents.

In a statement the council said: “Where foundation works like this are necessary in the borough, the council requires that this is undertaken with a drilling rig, rather than a hammer-driven piling rig, which helps to minimise the temporary disruption for neighbours.

Salt and pepper pots were shaken from a cupboard, fell on the counter and broke after drilling-work at a Persimmon Homes building site in Martham caused houses in the area to shake. Picture: Paul Holmes.Salt and pepper pots were shaken from a cupboard, fell on the counter and broke after drilling-work at a Persimmon Homes building site in Martham caused houses in the area to shake. Picture: Paul Holmes.

“As work progresses, the council will continue to monitor the situation.”

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Anglia said: “We are aware that the piling work for the foundations has caused some disruption to local residents and apologise for any inconvenience.

“We would like to reassure them that the piling work is due to be completed by Thursday January 31 and thank them for their patience during this period.”

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