‘Work on classroom making our lives hell’

Homeowner Chris Baker is complaining about the noise caused by the work on the classroom at the end of his garden

Homeowner Chris Baker is complaining about the noise caused by the work on the classroom at the end of his garden

First published in News by

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.”

Comments (7)

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9:30am Fri 5 Sep 14

Frank28 says...

Mr Baker should have taken the Council to the Ombudsman by now, it's the clearest example of maladministration, and possibly Injustice. If the complaint is upheld, then the Council will be obliged to act and remove the building, and Mr Baker could take additional legal action.
Mr Baker should have taken the Council to the Ombudsman by now, it's the clearest example of maladministration, and possibly Injustice. If the complaint is upheld, then the Council will be obliged to act and remove the building, and Mr Baker could take additional legal action. Frank28
  • Score: 18

9:42am Fri 5 Sep 14

theargusissoinformative says...

There's also the issue with two different councils that don't have to sing from the same hymn sheet. East Sussex County Council is responsible for education, while Lewes District Council is responsible for planning. Does anyone remember that court case between Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council over controlled parking?

East Sussex County Council are just being anti-social neighbours in this matter, and Mr Baker should get in touch with LEWES DISTRICT COUNCIL ASAP. Sorry for the emphasis.
There's also the issue with two different councils that don't have to sing from the same hymn sheet. East Sussex County Council is responsible for education, while Lewes District Council is responsible for planning. Does anyone remember that court case between Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council over controlled parking? East Sussex County Council are just being anti-social neighbours in this matter, and Mr Baker should get in touch with LEWES DISTRICT COUNCIL ASAP. Sorry for the emphasis. theargusissoinformative
  • Score: 5

11:22am Fri 5 Sep 14

NickBrt says...

Pity he wasn't a traveller. The council would fall over themselves to stop the inconvenience.
Pity he wasn't a traveller. The council would fall over themselves to stop the inconvenience. NickBrt
  • Score: 13

3:36pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Beale32 says...

He looks like he should take up cricket!!!!
He looks like he should take up cricket!!!! Beale32
  • Score: -6

8:36pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Hove Actually says...

If we made a clerical error in planning I bet a pound to a pinch of council spin we would be made to tear any building down
If we made a clerical error in planning I bet a pound to a pinch of council spin we would be made to tear any building down Hove Actually
  • Score: 5

9:23pm Fri 5 Sep 14

ghost bus driver says...

Maybe if he doesn't get anywhere he should stick a few Leylandii bushes along the back fence after adding some Miracle Grow to the soil. Then we'll see who complains. But also maybe contact the ombudsman as well.
Maybe if he doesn't get anywhere he should stick a few Leylandii bushes along the back fence after adding some Miracle Grow to the soil. Then we'll see who complains. But also maybe contact the ombudsman as well. ghost bus driver
  • Score: 4

9:41am Sun 7 Sep 14

Valentinian says...

Stand closer to the razor...you look like an armpit with eyes
Stand closer to the razor...you look like an armpit with eyes Valentinian
  • Score: 0
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