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Council blasted as wall collapses and sends tons of rubble crashing into West Hampstead gardens

The pile of rubble at the end of resident Dan Roman's garden. Picture: Polly Hancock The pile of rubble at the end of resident Dan Roman's garden. Picture: Polly Hancock

Thursday, February 6, 2014
1:00 PM

Furious residents have accused Camden Council of putting their lives at risk after tons of rubble came crashing into gardens when a wall collapsed.

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Residents say the wall collapsed after two years of warnings to the council. Picture: Polly HancockResidents say the wall collapsed after two years of warnings to the council. Picture: Polly Hancock

Sixteen households awoke on Saturday morning to find sheds flattened, decking in pieces and a mountain of bricks at the end of their gardens.

Residents say that, for more than two years, they had warned Camden Council that the wall at the back of properties in Holmdale Road, West Hampstead, was “leaning dangerously”.

Parents had expressed particular concerns as it not only towered over their gardens but also over Emmanuel CE Primary School playground.

But despite the many warnings the wall remained untouched.

The wall was next to a school playground. Picture: Polly HancockThe wall was next to a school playground. Picture: Polly Hancock

Dan Roman, one of the residents who suffered extensive damage to his garden, accused the council of “risking lives”.

“It’s very lucky nobody was hurt or even killed,” he said.

“My young children play where the wall fell down and it’s also right next to a school playground and public open space.

“We’ve been warning the council about this wall for more than two years and they’ve done next to nothing.

“Now we’ve suffered thousands of pounds worth of damage and have tons of rubble as a garden.”

Neighbour Bagrat Tunyan, who awoke to find a collapsed heap of personal items and bricks where his shed used to be, said he would be seeking compensation.

“It really is lucky nobody was hurt as it is known as an area where children like to play,” he said. “It looks like a war zone now. Thank God we don’t have any children to rescue under there.”

The council said repair work was due to take place at the time that the wall collapsed.

A council spokesman said: “We had arranged for work to be done to the wall to partially rebuild and replace it with fencing on behalf of the school.

“This work was about to start and we sought permission for access to private gardens from 16 homeowners whose gardens back onto the wall.

“Following the collapse, the reasons for which are being established, we arranged for the site to be made safe and will proceed with plans to replace the wall.”

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