Help! Our home is falling into the river

Padiham home collapse fears
Padiham home collapse fears

A couple fear their home could collapse into a Padiham river if “dangerous” and “crumbling” banking is not repaired.

David and Jean Sedgwick are scared that land underneath their Melbourne Street home may be being eroded by flooding of nearby Green Brook.

The pair, who have lived in the house for 26 years, have watched in horror as the river has eaten away at the river bank behind their property.

A tree was felled and a huge brick wall collapsed sending tonnes of rubble into the water course below – leaving a gaping gap at the end of the back street with a 10ft drop.

David and Jean said now the back street itself is crumbling and earth underneath their neighbour’s yard is falling away.

Alarmingly, the couple have found huge cracks in the walls of their home and the kitchen appears to be sinking and tearing away from the rest of the house.

They fear if nothing is done to bolster the banking, their home could be next to plunge into the brook.

Jean, who has paid off the mortgage on the house with husband David, said: “Our home has been fine for 23 years with no problems. Then we wake up one morning and a tree has gone and then the wall went and now it appears that the house is sliding one way.

“We don’t want to wake up one day with no kitchen. Something needs doing.

“It is scary not knowing what is going on underneath your home.”

Jean and David warned the authorities that urgent action needed taking when the wall fell in 2011 and have had to stand and watch the problem worsen.

Rising river levels have seen their cellar flood in recent years and they fear the house could be next.

David said: “It is dangerous. There are hollow bits under our yard now and we don’t think there is anything under our neighbour’s garden.

“It looks like the river is eating away at the banking. It is crumbling.

We have paid off our house but we cannot sell it and we cannot hand it down. Nobody is owning up to this.

“We want the wall to be repaired.”

The couple have waited more than three years for anything but now officials for the Environment Agency say they have sent legal letters to the landowners ordering them to carry out repair work on the banking.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “This is a riparian issue and it is the responsibility of the landowner to repair the collapsed river wall. We are focused on managing the flood risk at Green Brook and are currently in correspondence with the landowner to find solutions to this issue.”