Woman taken by ‘complete surprise’ after finding 20ft ‘monstrosity’ towering over garden

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Constructed as part of a 276-home housing development, the 20ft wall is seen towering over the garden of Sharon Everill, who lives in Knutton, a small village in the borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme. The homeowner is upset about the 20ft concrete wall construction which has been built as part of a wider project, claiming that it came as a “complete surprise” to her.

The structure which she has referred to as an “eyesore” towers over Sharon Everill’s property, from its location at the edge of her garden.

Mrs Everill lives on Wilmot Drive, the construction site borders previous green space behind the property.

While Mrs Everill was aware that the long-awaited development in Lower Milehouse would come up to the northern edge of her property, she claims she had no idea about the 20ft wall.

She spoke of her surprise, saying: “We knew there was going to be a house 30 feet back from the edge of our property, but it was never mentioned that there would be a 20 foot high concrete retaining wall. We just came back home one day and there it was.”

In reference to the build which she has referred to as a “monstrosity”, she queried why she wasn’t made aware of the project before it was erected.

Mrs Everill said: “We’ve spoken to the builders about the fact that we were never notified about this, and they insist that there were notices put up. But they say that they understand why we’re so upset about this”.

She has raised concerns that the wall, which has been constructed as part of a housing development, could drive down the value of her property, where she has lived for more than 30 years.

Mrs Everill explained that after speaking to the construction staff she learnt that the retaining wall for the development, where more than 270 homes will be built, is a necessity for the project.

She said: “They need the retaining wall because they’re going to backfill on the land behind it, so it won’t appear that high from the other side. That means that monstrosity is going to be there forever now.”

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One solution to the issue suggested by developers from the Wilmot Drive site was a “contribution” towards the cost of trees to hide the wall, but Mrs Everill has rebuffed the offer saying it wasn’t good enough.

She said: “We’ve asked Tilia Homes or Kier Living or whatever they’re called. They suggest that we plant conifers in front of the retaining wall to mask it. They even said they’d give us £200 to pay for the trees. But we don’t want £200. We don’t want £2,000. We just don’t want this eyesore here.”

The housing development, known as The Paddocks, will consist of 75 two-bedroom, 136 three-bedroom, and 65 four-bedroom houses.

Tilia Homes, previously known as Kier Living, secured planning permission for the site in 2018, following the demolition of 188 properties under the Renew North Staffordshire housing market renewal pathfinder more than a decade ago.

A spokesperson for Tilia Homes told Stoke on Trent Live: “The retaining wall along the rear of Weston Close has been built in accordance with the planning permission granted by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council in 2018, and to an approved design. The details of this were publicly available at the time.

“We have been in contact with the resident in recent weeks and have offered a contribution towards tree planting to help conceal the wall from her garden. We are more than happy to discuss this further and reach a solution that is suitable for both parties.”

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