A mum has revealed the hellish reality of her ‘dream’ new build home – from the house ‘shaking’ every time lorries pass to having to clean her windows four times a week.
The ‘absolutely beautiful’ detached three-bed in James Munday Rise, Coleshill seemed the perfect property for relocating Jackie McCormack and her husband.
But as soon as they moved into the £350,000 house, located just 9ft from the busy A446 Lichfield Road, they were rocked by the constant rumbling, constant noise and pollution.
Likened to ‘living next to a motorway’, the thundering of commuting cars and lorries can be heard between 5.30am to 8.30pm, the mum says.
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 good 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 in Kings Heath 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.”
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 explained.
“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 ‘disgraceful’ wake up from the road at 5.30am on weekdays.
There’s also the issue of the dust from the pollution falling onto their cars, windows and into their en suite 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?
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“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.”
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.
“My garden’s a no go area and I think it always will be, unless they reduce that speed, it’s too much of a danger,” she added.
“I wouldn’t allow my grandson to play outside, it’s too scary. It’s the speed at which the juggernauts go past, it’s the speed of the racers, they’re doing wheelies, it’s absolutely shocking.”
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 along their part of the A446 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’.
“My worry is there should be a speed limit of 40mph because of the residential estate, it’s not just one house here there’s several houses going on the stretch of this road and it’s only a small stretch of the A446.
“All we want is 40mph, speed cameras and a crash barrier outside my fence. There’s nothing.”
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She continued: “I’m going to fight to the 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.”
BirminghamLive has contacted Highways England and the estate agents for comments.