Retired architect claims debris falling from Hampstead building site ‘put lives at risk’

PUBLISHED: 14:03 11 April 2013

Michael Taylor with some of the material. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Michael Taylor with some of the material. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email

Safety chiefs have been alerted to claims of rubble, wood and metal raining down onto a prize-winning garden from a construction site next door.

Michael Taylor says debris – including heavy scaffold clips and a wooden plank – has crashed onto his land in Lyndhurst Road, Hampstead, almost daily since work began last March.

The retired architect, 70, says some items were so bulky they could have killed him or his two grandchildren, aged five and seven, who play in the garden.

The building firm MY Construction and Carpentry denies responsibility and a manager said he had no idea where the debris had come from.

But Mr Taylor has reported the company to government watchdog the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and a spokesman confirmed it is making enquiries. Camden Council has also contacted the HSE about his complaints.

Mr Taylor admitted the situation had improved in recent weeks after the netting around the scaffolding was replaced.

But he claimed there have been close shaves, saying: “On one occasion, a six foot length of wood came down when there was a hell of a wind. I stepped to one side and it landed two feet from me. There are hundreds of individual items – a dozen of which could have killed me or my grandchildren.”

His garden has three times clinched awards from the Heath and Hampstead Society due to the handiwork of his wife Andrea.

A spokesman for MY Construction and Carpentry said: “We have attempted to have numerous discussions with Mr Taylor. There has been protective sheeting in place from the outset of the work.

“We are compliant with health and safety and the HSE has visited and been happy with the way the site was being run. All site personnel are given a health and safety induction upon arrival.”

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