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Couple forced out in burst main saga
A RETIRED couple have been forced out of their home to allow repair work caused by a burst water main almost 12 months ago to begin.
Kenneth and Kathleen Salter, who have been married 43 years, say their health has suffered since last October when the leak triggered a host of other problems.
The pair now face up to two months away from their bungalow in the Spinney, St John’s, Worcester, while Severn Trent repairs the damage which includes subsidence, cracks in the wall and a disrupted driveway.
But the knock-on effects were also felt next door where Mel Clarke, who won an archery silver at the London Paralympics, was also left to put up with large cracks and gaping holes in her home. She has since moved out. “We’ve had no contact or apology from Severn Trent,” said Mrs Salter, who is 63.
“I just think it’s appalling that they think it’s acceptable not to have any contact with us. At one point I thought they just wanted me to shut up and go away.”
The couple have, in the last week, been moved by Severn Trent to another property in the Spinney. Their daughter, Claire Salter, says she fears the work could last until Christmas. “We hope they get a move on with it,” said Miss Salter. “I just hope my parents will be in their home for Christmas. They just want to move back as soon as possible.”
She said the trouble began on October 10 last year when the water main caused “small water fountains” to appear on their drive, followed by a “torrent of water running down it from the stop tap”.She said the driveway later collapsed to reveal a hole about four feet deep. The driveway was later cordoned off. Meanwhile, Roy Francis, landlord of the bungalow where Mel Clarke lived, said the situation was beyond a joke.
“The homes look like an oil rig at the moment,” he said.
“They’ve cordoned off my garden and the one next door. Some of the gaps are unbelievable. You can get your hands in the cracks by the window.”
A Severn Trent spokesman said the company would like to apologise to customers “for any distress caused”.
“Following further investigations, repairs are now being carried out on homes that were affected,” said the spokesman.
“While work is underway residents have temporarily being rehomed.”