Trains are a pain for angry homeowners

A COUPLE from Ipswich today blew off steam at a housing company after suffering a “year of hell” with noisy freight trains.

A COUPLE from Ipswich today blew off steam at a housing company after suffering a “year of hell” with noisy freight trains.

John and Beryl Richardson bought a home on the Foxgrove Gardens development off Foxhall Road, but very quickly regretted it.

They say they have not had a decent night's sleep since they moved there in September 2007 because of the flurry of industrial trains that pull into the neighbouring Derby Road station.

The couple, both 60, claim builders Barratt Homes told them it was a disused railway line before they bought their two-bedroom property.

They also accuse the building company of failing to honour the terms of its planning permission by not installing an acoustic fence to dampen the train noise. Barratt Homes deny the claims.

Mrs Richardson, of Ditton Way, said: “We have had a year of hell in this place. If I could move tomorrow, I would. We are very depressed.

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The railway line is around 100 metres from the couple's home and is used as a waiting area for freight coming to and from Felixstowe port.

Mr Richardson, a retired hairdresser, added: “The train engines are higher than the current fence, so what's the point? It might as well not be there.”

After a year-long battle to convince the company of their argument, it appears there may light at the end of the tunnel after Ipswich Borough Council finally recognised the planning breach.

Having initially said Barratt Homes were not in the wrong, the council sent the couple a letter over Christmas telling them that they will be issuing an enforcement notice on Barratt Homes to change the fence.

Keith Parrett, managing director of Barratt Eastern Counties, said: “We have previously been made aware of Mr Richardson's allegations, which we deny.

“The sales literature and displays which were available to Mr Richardson clearly showed the existing railway line.

“This information would also have been made known to him by searches carried out by his own solicitor.

“We are not aware of any enforcement notice from the local authority.”

Has your life been blighted by noise? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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