Couple living in misery after realising house was ‘built under a car park’

A couple say they're living in misery after discovering their home was 'built under a car park'.

Tyne and Wear residents Joe and Marie Allan have lived in their house in Blackfell, Washington for three years.

However they say they only recently discovered the rental property was built directly onto the adjoining car park, with no space left in between the walls.

Marie, 66, said the home, rented from Gentoo, has 'severe dampness' and they fear a wall towering above their house could drop into the garden if it is hit by a car.

After contacting the housing provider, Marie said an independent surveyor was sent out and the windows were condemned. Now the couple have slammed the social housing provider for failing to take further action.

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"It has had no maintenance on the outer brick wall or car park walls and there has been a long history of severe dampness," she told Chronicle Live.

"It was because of water running down the bedroom wall that this all came to light as someone known to us, who was actually on the original build, pointed out the bungalow was attached to the car park with no space left between the build and all that was buried behind our bedroom wall was only being held back by two bricks."

Marie added: "We were horrified and immediately contacted Gentoo who thus far have done nothing to check the outer wall apart from getting at my insistence an independent surveyor who condemned all the windows and the roof which is more or less permanently leaking."

The couple claim they have received no further information and have asked for the Health and Safety Executive.

"The outer wall is in a serious dilapidated state; we have no idea if it's state is acceptable and as most of it is buried and has been for the last 50 year, no one knows," Marie said.

They're also concerned about the car park and walls that adjoin and sit above their property.

Joe, 66, said: "We are extremely worried about the car park as there are no barriers to stop traffic turning and if they hit the low wall in the car park there is at least a 16 ft drop into my garden there doesn't seem to be any urgency.

"There were devastating floods here about eight years ago and we don't believe any inspections were done of this outer wall when this bungalow and the adjacent bungalows were seriously flooded and the people were out of them for six months."

Diane Carney, director of property at Gentoo, said: "We are aware of an issue with one of our properties at Thirlmoor, Washington and we are working closely with Sunderland City Council's Highways Department to investigate the situation.

"The safety of our tenants in our homes is of paramount importance and we have maintained contact with the tenants throughout the process.

"We will continue to look for a resolution in conjunction with the city council to resolve this for Mr and Mrs Allan as soon as practicably possible."

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