I was forced to dig up my garden in a desperate attempt to protect my home from rain – I’m terrified it will collapse | The Sun

A FURIOUS dad-of-two dug a massive crater in his front garden after his basement "turned into a swimming pool" and claims the council refuse to help.

Lewyn Clegg fears his home is now worthless and could collapse at any moment, as the basement remains severely flooded afterhorrendous storms just three months after he moved in.

The 32-year-old was forced to fit electric pumps which run day and night to transfer water from the cellar to the main road, an added financial strain amid the cost-of-living crisis.

The dad-of-two told Yorkshire Live: "They kick in at least once a day, but they can be going every 20 minutes in winter. If one fails the basement is a swimming pool again.

"I have proved it is the council [who is responsible to deal with the blockage].

"They tried getting to it and blasted it through but it has blocked again, everyone I have spoken to has said it is the council's responsibility." 

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At present, make shift scaffolding poles are the only thing helping support the house, shared with fiancé Natalie and their two young children, amid cracks appearing in the property.

In addition, the anxious homeowner resorted to digging a massive crater in the front garden to prove a stone culvert is at the root of the issue.

The village have named it the 'Great Hole of Haddingley Lane'.

Mr Clegg has left a sign in front of the hole that explains why he dug it and informs people about his problem.

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It reads: "The culvert was created to take water away from the cellar of the property.

"The roof of the culvert is made from heavy stone slabs and there is no modern pipework to back up the original construction."

Inside the crater, passers-by can see the water usually removed by the culvert sitting stagnant.

"We dug the hole after the council's main excuse for not fulfilling their civic duty was that the 'ancient' culvert was not on any of their maps and, further more, that it was blocked under our land.

"With external surveys and groundworks experts we have been able to disprove both theories, leaving Kirklees with no plausible reasoning," the note continued.

A culvert is a type of drain that channels water past an obstacle or to an underground waterway.

They are usually made from a pipe or reinforced concrete and embedded under soil.

The young working family explained the matter has led to increased amounts of stress and anxiety and claimed Kirklees Council are "evading their duties."

The note is signed off with an apology and the family's hope that people will understand their predicament.

Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Environment for Kirklees Council said: "Kirklees Council has investigated the issue on Haddingley Lane with findings presenting an ageing stone drainage system within the curtilage of the property, which we hold no records of on our system.

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"If any new information comes to light we would be happy to review our position.”

The desperate family reported they even spoke to lawyers but were told it could cost anything from £35,000 to £60,000 to take the council to court over the matter.

The couple originally bought the terraced home, at the junction of Haddingley Lane and Wall Nook Lane, below Shepley, Yorkshire, for £180,000 but now worry the property is worthless.

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