The house ‘shakes’ every time lorries pass and she has to clean her windows four times a week.
This is the reality of Jackie McCormack’s ‘dream’ new-build home. The ‘absolutely beautiful’ detached three-bed had seemed the perfect property for relocating her and her husband.
But as soon as they moved into the £350,000 house, located just 9ft from a busy A road they were rocked by the constant rumbling, constant noise and pollution, Birmingham Live reports.
Likened to ‘living next to a motorway’, the thundering of commuting cars and lorries can be heard between 5.30am to 8.30pm on the busy A446 in James Munday Rise, Coleshill, West Midlands, the mum says. Watch the video interview with Jackie above – and see the HGVs thunder past.
And there’s no respite even on weekends, with the noise from boy racers and motorcyclists described as ‘horrendous’. With no speed cameras to slow motorists down and no crash barriers to protect the home, their garden is a ‘no go zone’.
The pollution from the road is so severe, every morning Jackie says she could write her name in the dust that settles on her brand new white en suite.
“We moved in on the Friday and on Saturday it was absolutely horrendous,” recalled the 58-year-old mum, who moved in at the end of February. I didn’t realise there was an injunction regarding boy racers on the A446, they don’t take any notice of it. They started at 11am on the Saturday and went right the way through to 4am on Sunday, hitting speeds of 90-100mph.
“On the Monday, it started with the heavy goods vehicles – my house was constantly shaking. You don’t get any respite at all, it’s relentless. It’s like living next to a motorway.”
The mum said she wished she could turn back the hands of time after relocating from their larger Victorian home to live their dream in a detached property.
“I was in a beautiful Victorian house but I thought we always wanted a detached house, and we jumped at it and I wish we could just go back,” she continued.
“It was perfect for us. It was a little bit smaller, it was closer to where my husband works at Rolls Royce in Solihull.”
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They initially had put an offer in on a four-bedroom new build on the same estate priced at £375,000, but when their three-bed came up for £25,000 less, they jumped at the opportunity.
Whilst going through the buying process on the lower-priced home, nearer the road, they had six or seven viewings of the house – but only on Saturday mornings ‘before the road wakes up’.
“Before we moved in we had several viewings that all took place on a Saturday morning which all meant that the road was relatively quiet. We absolutely fell in love with the house,” she said.
“It’s a beautiful property. But I think because it was so close to the road, no wonder they dropped it by £25,000. Anyway, we went out and had a look at it on a number of occasions, absolutely beautiful, we moved in and it all started from there.
“I’m not saying we were duped, I think they [estate agents] should have been a little more forthcoming with the times they were allowing us to come see. If it had been about 2pm, we would have said ‘what the hell’ and we wouldn’t have touched it with a barge pole. I’m not blaming the planners[either], but how they got planning permission to build a house so close to the road, I will never know.”
The couple now have to wear earplugs to bed in preparation for the road starting to get busy at 5.30am on weekdays. There’s also the issue of the dust from the pollution falling onto their cars, windows and even into their home every day.
“There’s lights and every now and again you get a sway of the HGV vehicles, my fence is 9ft away from the edge of the A446,” she said.
“The HGVs are absolutely horrendous, and the pollution that comes out of them, it’s disgraceful. I’m washing my windows three or four times a week, it’s disgusting. If the pollution is going onto our windows and our cars, what are we breathing in?
“I’ve got an en suite upstairs, it doesn’t have a window but it’s got a convector fan and every morning, I’ve got a beautiful white sink, everything is brand new – you could write your name in the dust that has settled from the air coming from the outside in.”
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Jackie branded her garden a ‘no go area’ and said she wouldn’t let her grandson play there due to the speed of the cars zooming past constantly. She has urgently called for action to be taken, with suggestions the speed limit should be dropped to 40mph for the 800m stretch of road lined with houses. A couple of speed cameras and crash barriers would also be a huge help, she said.
“Some of my neighbours’ houses are further away from the road but they can still feel the rumbling, the noise, they can’t open their windows, their windows are dirty, exactly the same thing. My neighbour says: ‘Jackie, I wish I could turn back the hands of time, because I would never have bought this house’.”
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She continued: “I’m going to fight tooth and nail to get this sorted out. I’m not moving, I can’t move because nobody would buy the house. They’ve said they haven’t had any crashes in years, but I’m not prepared to take that risk. They have to reduce the speed, they have to.”
Warwickshire County Council said it is aware of the problems and will consider them ‘very carefully’ to recommend possible solutions.
A spokesperson said: “A meeting is currently being arranged with various stakeholders to discuss this. Obviously, there is no guarantee that it will be possible to provide any measures, but we will consider the issues raised very carefully and aim to recommend possible solutions.”
Highways England and the estate agent have been contacted for comments.