Residents' horror as 30 foot high wall crashes down into gardens

Resident Mrs Ceri Carmichael surveys the damage after the wall collapse in Printers Fold, Burnley.
Resident Mrs Ceri Carmichael surveys the damage after the wall collapse in Printers Fold, Burnley.

“It was like an earthquake.”

This was how horrified residents described the sound when a 30 foot high wall collapsed into their gardens and drives. Stones came tumbling down onto cars, sheds and flowerbeds in Printers Fold, Burnley, late one night as neighbours slept.

The collapsed wall at Printers Fold, Burnley

The collapsed wall at Printers Fold, Burnley

Resident Ceri Carmichael, who lives close to the homes affected, said: “I was in bed when I heard a loud rumbling sound.

“It sounded just like an earthquake. I looked out of the window but it was dark and I couldn’t see anything.

“It wasn’t until the next morning when we saw that major sections of the wall had literally collapsed.”

The wall, which came tumbling down at around 10-30pm last Wednesday evening, backs onto a path known as Knotts Lane which runs behind the Printers Fold development and leads to Lowerhouse lodge,a popular haunt for anglers. The wall was in place in 1993 when the Printers Fold development was built.

The wall is on unregistered land and it is unclear at the moment who owns it. So residents are in limbo as to when repairs can begin and who will take responsibility for the work.

Mrs Carmichael, who is due to stand for the Green Party at the Lancashire County Council elections in May, said: “Half of the wall is still there but there are real fears it could collapse again and it could fall on a child or anyone who happens to be in the garden at the time.

“It is a disaster waiting to happen.

“It would be great if the local authority and various agencies got together to pool their resources and come up with an answer for us as to where to go from here.”

When the Boxing Day floods hit in 2015 Printers Fold residents were worried that Lowerhouse lodge would flood their estate as it did start to overflow and water was spotted seeping through the wall that collapsed.

Green Brook, which runs through the estate, flooded and part of a retaining wall collapsed into the brook, taking the garden of a property with it.

A Burnley Council spokesman said: “The wall is on unregistered land and not in the ownership of the council.

“However, officers have been to the site to assess the situation and the affected area alongside the footpath has been fenced off to ensure the safety of the general public.

“We have spoken to residents and written to them as well giving advice and explaining the situation.”