Father denies home construction causing neighbour's house to sink (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Father denies Chingford home construction causing neighbour's house to sink
A young father has denied building work on his dream home could cause a neighbour’s house to sink.
Agy Epaminondas, 30, has stopped construction on the property in The Ridgeway, Chingford, after a neighbour’s surveyor claimed builders dug below his foundations, putting his property at risk.
George Constantinou, 55, also claimed the construction of a single-storey side extension has caused blockages to toilets and kitchen sinks in surrounding properties after a manhole was concreted over, and that the building work has caused structural damage.
Work on the side extension, a front garage and a loft conversion was halted in December pending an independent survey to verify Mr Constantinou’s claims.
This left Mr Epaminondas, his wife and two young daughters having to live with his parents.
Mr Constantinou said: "They’re destroying our home.
"I have spent thousands on solicitors but nothing has been done to rectify it. All the neighbours are so angry, it’s a ridiculous situation.
"We’re unclogging our toilet each day and now I’m faced with the prospect of my house sinking. This is no way to live."
However, Mr Epaminondas denied the work was affecting other properties.
He said: "My engineer said it’s impossible to have caused subsidence.
"The work on the manhole was above board. Thames Water are happy because I’ve built another one five metres away.
"It’s frustrating because we are living with my parents and the house is too small."
Mr Constantinou and his neighbours claim the extension will leave them with little privacy and light.
He said: "There’ll be no privacy in our kitchen or bedroom and we’ll have to bend down and hide while using the toilet now, like we’re prisoners in our own home being watched at all times."
He claimed he received no letter of notification when his neighbour made the planning applications, which were passed last summer.
The estate agent appealed to Chingford MP Iain Duncan Smith for help.
Mr Duncan Smith said: "I’ve written to the Head of Planning at the Council to demand an immediate inspection of the site."
A council spokesman said a further site inspection would take place.
Thames Water has been approached for comment.