A FAMILY was evacuated from their home when large cracks began to appear in the house next door.

Dave Purser and his family were given five minutes to hurriedly grab their things from their house in Southview Road, Peacehaven, when officials decided the house next door was unsafe.

As they were doing this, they said they were told they should bring the children’s Christmas presents just in case.

He has been forced to stay in his in-laws ‘ spare room with his partner and two young daughters.

The civic engineer said: “It feels like nothing has been done since a fence was put around the house on Monday.

“There just seems to be no sense of urgency.

“I just want to be back home by Christmas.”

He also said he and his partner Kiele and his two daughters Penelope, 5, and Alice, 3, had not been offered any form of temporary accommodation.

Mr Purser said that he, along with other nearby residents, had reported the building to the council as they were worried about its condition.

He also expressed concerns over the safety of the building, saying if it was just left as it was he feared the tall chimney could collapse.

He said if it fell it could crash through the landing of his house and through his daughter’s bedroom.

A spokesman for Lewes District Council said: “This is not a council property, but we have been aware of the condition of the property and have been supporting the occupant.

“Last Saturday, South East Water was called in to tackle a leaking water main in the footpath in Southview Road.

“Two days later, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service was called in to investigate a large crack that had appeared in the property.

“Lewes District Council made an emergency visit to the house and determined that the whole structure was now in a dangerous state.

“It evacuated the occupants and the owners of the neighbouring house.

“The council is now using its Building Control emergency powers to make the building safe. This might have to include a partial demolition. The council is pulling together a specialist team and aims to start work on site early this week.”