A FRUSTRATED homeowner has suffered builders working “unruly hours” on a new classroom, which was mistakenly erected overlooking his garden.
Chris Baker called on East Sussex County Council to remove the temporary classroom block in Newhaven after town hall chiefs admitted making a typing error in planning documents for the new building at Harbour Primary and Nursery School.
The 31-year-old said the “intrusive” building is only 5m from his property in The Rose Walk – contradicting planning documents which placed it 27m away.
The council apologised and admitted it made a “clerical error” – but insisted the building would stay at the Church Hill site as it will cater for an influx of schoolchildren in the town.
However, Mr Baker now claims the council is struggling to finish work in time for the start of term on Monday, prompting workers to start drilling and sawing as early as 7.15am on one occasion last week.
He said: “They were still working at 7.30pm on Tuesday night and started at 8am on Sunday. I asked one of the workers what was going on and they said they were under pressure to finish in time for the kids to come back to school on Monday.
“It’s been a really stressful situation and it’s upsetting my wife. The reason they’ve had to put this block up in the first place is because they closed Grays Infant School, for a reason they couldn’t explain, and thought they’d put all the kids at Harbour Primary.
“It’s not the children’s fault. It’s the council.”
Mr Baker said he was considering selling his home to “get away from it all” but revealed estate agents had estimated the value of his house had decreased by 2% to 5% as a result of the structure. The unit has planning permission until 2019.
An East Sussex County Council spokesman said contractors had been “working very hard to complete work on the installation of the mobile classroom and an extension to the existing school building”.
He said the council wanted to apologise to Mr Baker and other residents for any disruption caused by the work, which remained on course to finish in time for the start of the new school year.
He added: “The construction project will allow the school to be located on one site rather than two, which is the logical next step following the merger of Grays Infant School and Southdown Junior School last year.
“Bringing all pupils on to one site will allow the school to continue the progress its made since the merger and enhance the feeling of one school community for pupils and staff.”