Horror of 'bombsite' neglected Wigan house with trees that are cracking pavements

An "eyesore" unoccupied house is blighting the lives of people living on either side of it.
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The front of the semi-detached property in Violet Street, Ince, is littered with bricks and building waste, with rusty scaffolding from a half-completed extension encroaching on to a neighbour's land. The back garden is full of rotting wood covered with filthy tarpaulins, and badly overgrown.

Meanwhile a large tree is causing concern as the roots are pushing up the path in the alleyway running behind the houses. Another tree which has been cut down has also damaged the surrounding paving slabs.

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Neighbour Ken Tennant next to scaffolding which has been on his land for about 20 years and a building which has bricks crumbling, making it hard for him to get his mobility scooter out.Neighbour Ken Tennant next to scaffolding which has been on his land for about 20 years and a building which has bricks crumbling, making it hard for him to get his mobility scooter out.
Neighbour Ken Tennant next to scaffolding which has been on his land for about 20 years and a building which has bricks crumbling, making it hard for him to get his mobility scooter out.

One of the neighbours, 82-year-old Margaret Fishwick, blames the neglected state of the property next door for rats which have entered her home.

She said: "I've lived in my house since 1968 and I've never had rats before. I get frightened on my own.

"What am I paying my council tax for?”

Her son Andy Shaw, 58, is regularly called out by his mum to attend to some emergency and described the house as a “complete bombsite.”

Margaret Fishwick, 82, is fed up with her neighbour's mess in both front and back gardens.Margaret Fishwick, 82, is fed up with her neighbour's mess in both front and back gardens.
Margaret Fishwick, 82, is fed up with her neighbour's mess in both front and back gardens.

He said: "The next door neighbour hasn't been living in the property for two years. Last Christmas there was a water leak and the property was flooded.

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"All the land's overgrown and it's just an eyesore. If it was put right, it could make a great family home for someone. Every other house in the street is spotless.

"Even though it's a private property, the council should do something about it by taking away the rubbish and sorting the back garden out. They have a duty of care."

The neighbours on the other side, Ken and Christine Tennant, said they had had problems with the long-standing resident of the property even before he stopped living there permanently two years ago. It is understood he moved out to live with a family member because of ill-health.

A large tree is causing concern as the tree roots are pushing up the path in the alleyway behind the houses.A large tree is causing concern as the tree roots are pushing up the path in the alleyway behind the houses.
A large tree is causing concern as the tree roots are pushing up the path in the alleyway behind the houses.

Ken, 77, suffers from emphysema and spinal problems, but the scaffolding encroaching on to his property makes it difficult for him to use his mobility scooter.

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Wife Christine said: "The scaffolding has been up outside for 20 years from when he started building an extension. There are big trees growing on to the alleyway at the back, and a big wall next to our property is crumbling to bits. It's just an absolute nightmare.

"The council have been around about three times but say there's not a lot they can do as it's private property.

"It’s devaluing people’s homes. Even if we wanted to sell up, we couldn’t because of the state of the house next door.”

View from neighbouring upstairs window of the back garden.View from neighbouring upstairs window of the back garden.
View from neighbouring upstairs window of the back garden.

In response to residents’ concerns, a Wigan Council spokesperson said: "The council is aware of the vacant property and is liaising with the owner and their family.

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"Officers from the pest control team visited the neighbouring property and do not believe the issue is being caused by the condition of the property next door. Our officers will continue to provide support and advice, and the resident has been advised to contact United Utilities for further support."

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