Bob’s fury at crater in next garden

Don't look down: the excavation in the grounds of property developer Jerry malik's garden with his old home behind and garage to the left
Don't look down: the excavation in the grounds of property developer Jerry malik's garden with his old home behind and garage to the left
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IT’s a house with a view nobody would want.

When Bob Ettenfield looks over his garden fence he is faced with a 40-ft crater.

Now desperate Mr Ettenfield, of Victoria Avenue, Elland, is pleading for a solution.

Self-employed property developer Jerry Malik owns a neighbouring house in Victoria Road and began digging out the garden after he got planning permission for a new home with an underground swimming pool.

The extent of the work surprised Mr Ettenfield, 47, but he went ahead and built his own home alongside the ex- l Turn to Page 2

cavation. It means the huge void is now blocked in on four sides.

But Mr Ettenfield said he was told Mr Malik could complete his new house by demolishing his old house’s garage to give access from Victoria Road.

That never happened and Mr Ettenfield has turned to the council to remove the eyesore and potential danger.

Relatives of Mr Malik live in the Victoria Road property. There is also planning permission to demolish that.

Mr Ettenfield said the problem was a constant cause of stress for himself and partner Beverley Nann.

“It just looks like somebody has dropped a bomb,” said Mr Ettenfield. “I want it filling in.”

Neighbour Graham Wadsworth, of Victoria Crescent, has his garden ran up to the side of the crater.

“Calderdale Council should make him fill it in,” he said.

Councillor David Hardy (Lib-Dem, Elland) said it was an unacceptable and claimed planning conditions hadn’t been met.

“He has dug a hole and now he has run out of money,” he said.

Councillor Hardy has organised a meeting next week with senior planners to find a solution.

“Heads will roll if we do not get a conclusion,” he said.

“It’s not good enough to let it ride, even if Calderdale Council has to fill the hole in and send him the bill.

“It’s like a stone quarry in the middle of town and it’s dangerous.”

Mr Malik said he intended to complete the project once market conditions improved.

He said the hard part was digging out and his architects would be complying with all conditions.

“I do accept it looks pretty awful but I didn’t spend a fortune if I wasn’t going to do the development,” he said.

“Apart from it not being nice, that is the only problem.”