Marie Allan stands outside the rented home in Washington, Tyne and Wear (Image: ChronicleLive WS)

Couple 'live in misery' after realising home was built under car park


A couple say they are living in fear their house 'built under a car park' could collapse in on them.

The husband and wife in Washington, Tyne and Wear, say they have been living in misery after only just realising the rental property was built directly into an adjoining car park.

Joe and Marie Allan have lived in the social housing unit for three years - but say they only recently discovered no space left in between the walls.

Marie told Chronicle Live the home has 'severe dampness' and the couple fear a wall towering above their house could drop into the garden if it is hit by a car.

After contacting the social housing provider, Gentoo, Marie said an independent surveyor was sent out and the windows were condemned.

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The property has been built adjoining a car park (Image: ChronicleLive WS)

Now the couple have slammed Gentoo for failing to take further action.

Marie, 66, said: “It has had no maintenance on the outer brick wall or car park walls and there has been a long history of severe dampness.

“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 said: “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 to probe the property.

Marie added: “The outer wall is in a serious dilapidated state; we have no idea if its state is acceptable and as most of it is buried and has been for the last 50 year, no one knows.”

Joe and Marie are 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.

He added: “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.”