Sunderland resident's shock as tree lands on garage

A Sunderland resident has spoken of his shock after a tree toppled against his garage after claims that an ‘intruder’ entered the building site of a new Seaburn housing estate at night.

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 9:32 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 9:33 am

Keith Rafferty, 66 was shocked to find the tree had fallen against his property on the morning of Friday, September 10 after saying an intruder had entered the new Lowry Park housing development in Seaburn during the night.

The tree had toppled into the roof of his garage and damaged his workshop.

Mr Rafferty, who lives on Seafields opposite the site, claims he had reported seeing trespassers on the building site to the North East housebuilder Avant Homes approximately three weeks before the incident.

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The 60ft tree was chopped down by an intruder and landed in Keith's garden.

The Seaburn resident told the Echo he had concerns over security at the site.

He said: “I was furious because I had already reported to Avant that I had seen trespassers out of hours and we were worried about the security of the site."

Keith says he and his partner Carole rang the Avant head office and went to the sales office to share their concerns over the safety of the site.

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Avant conducted an inspection of the area and organised for a tree surgeon to visit the development the same day.

Avant Homes, who are currently building homes on a car park in Seaburn, responded to the incident by conducting an inspection of the area and organised for a tree surgeon to remove the tree on the same day.

A spokesperson for Avant Homes said: “We take security and safety very seriously and provide adequate security protection including Heras fencing that is a minimum of 1.8 metres high. End of day checks are also carried out by the site management team and suitable warning signage is in place to deter intruders gaining access to the development.

“Following the report of the incident, made on Friday, September 10, the site team responded immediately by conducting an inspection of the area and organising for a tree surgeon to visit the development the same day, when the tree was removed, and the area made safe.”

The spokesperson added: “The senior area construction manager also visited the owner of the neighbouring property on Friday, September 10 to conduct an initial inspection of the property and assure the resident that we will fulfil any obligations regarding damage caused.”

The tree landed on Keith's garage and workshop, damaging the roof and gutter.

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