A WOMAN was left fuming at the council after her garage roof destroyed her garden.
Frustrated Jacqueline Wells saw her roof take off in recent storms, plough into the fence and finally land in her flower beds.
NCJ MediaJacqueline Wells was left fuming at the council after her garage roof destroyed her garden[/caption]
NCJ MediaJacqueline and her partner say that the damage would not have occurred if the council had taken action a year earlier[/caption]
It comes just a year after she and her partner Ian had reported that the garage was unsafe after storm damage.
The couple are furious at Gateshead Council, and say the damage would not have occurred if the garage had been attended to when it was first battered by Storm Otto at the beginning of 2022.
Jacqueline told Chronicle Live: “The storm caused damage to our garage roof at the beginning of 2022 and I reported it to the council straight away.
“The block of five garages were all affected and our car was hit by some of the bricks as they came down.
“We had to carry out our own repairs just to make it safe and it wasn’t until about June that someone from the council came out to see it.
“After that, we heard nothing until the beginning of February this year, when we were told it was condemned.”
But a Gateshead Council spokesman said that the garages had already been condemned and the council was working towards a demolition date when the garage blew off into the couple’s garden.
A fuming Jacqueline said that the incident had been “devastating” to her.
She said: “I am a very keen gardener and this has caused hundreds of pounds of damage.
“I am in my garden as often as I can be and had just clipped back the shrubs the weekend before it happened. This is devastating for me.
“I spend a lot of money on my garden – the fences alone cost around £2,000 when they were put up, so this has hit me really badly. I just couldn’t stop crying.”
Jacqueline, who has lived in her home for 25 years, said: “I am – or was – so proud of my garden and the damage is absolutely horrendous.
“If the council had acted when the damage was first reported, none of this would have happened. By putting it off, they have created a much bigger issue.”
“If the council had acted when the damage was first reported, none of this would have happened”
Jacqueline Wells, 52
But a Gateshead Council spokesman said Storm Otto had caused irreparable damage to the garages.
He said: “The garages at Leam Lane had already been condemned, and we were working towards defining a date for demolition.
“A structural engineer has since inspected the garages, and made the decision to move the demolition forward due to their unsafe condition.
“All debris from the storm damage will be removed this week, and we will be corresponding with the affected tenants as soon as possible to advise them of a date for the demolition.”
And the spokesman added that an alternate garage site offered to Jacqueline had been accepted.
He continued: “Once demolished, the garages will not be rebuilt, with plans on future use of the land yet to be decided.
“In the meantime, we will be visiting any tenants who have suffered personal losses due to the damage to discuss compensation. We have since offered an alternative garage site to Ms Wells, which was accepted.”
Despite this, Jacqueline said she was still unhappy how long it took between the initial damage in 2022 and the decision to condemn the garages.
“The council know they were unsafe, yet did nothing about them,” she said.
“My garden was my pride and joy and I spent so much money on it. Now I am having to start from scratch where the roof landed and caused the damage. It’s heart breaking.”