‘My home is falling apart,’ says Sheila (74)

Cracks on the wall and ceiling of Sheila Maggs' subsiding home in Clarence Gardens, Spalding.

Cracks on the wall and ceiling of Sheila Maggs' subsiding home in Clarence Gardens, Spalding.

A pensioner with osteoarthritis has branded her Spalding home “an accident waiting to happen” because of cracks in the walls and ceiling.

Sheila Maggs (74) claims she is unable to sleep inside her council bungalow in Clarence Gardens because of structural problems that first appeared about three years ago.

South Holland District Council said the problem was due to a leaking water pipe underneath the house which has now been fixed.

Sheila said: “I moved here in 2000 and the house was fine until cracks started to appear about three years ago.

“I rang the council and a man who came out said the house needs underpinning (strengthening the foundations), but I couldn’t afford to do it.

“The cracks got worse and just before Christmas, I heard a loud bang which I thought was a radiator bursting.

“But I looked in my living room and there was water up to my ankles which was when a plumber who came out told me about the pipe splitting.”

Sheila’s son Terry Sewell (50), of Gedney Hill, said: “All the rain we had over the last two months has softened the ground and sunk the foundations of the building.

“The house has subsided between eight and ten inches, so I’m putting my foot down to get something done about it because of all the worry and stress on my mum.”

Sheila said: “A surveyor who came to see the house just before Christmas told me that I shouldn’t be in this situation and my house is like an accident waiting to happen.

“I don’t know whether I’m going to wake up in the morning and see that the windows have fallen out.”

A South Holland District Council spokesman said: “The tenant experienced water ingress (entrance) through the floor slab which got progressively worse up to Christmas.
“We investigated this and established that it was a leaking pipe, which has now been fixed.
“A structural report shows that there have been no immediate issues, but the floors need re-leveling and this work will be carried out in due course with Mrs Maggs’ accommodation needs in mind.”

“We plan to have a meeting with family members to discuss the most appropriate course of action and hope to cause Mrs Maggs as little disruption as possible.

“We will also continue to monitor the property in Clarence Gardens once the work is completed.”




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