A grandmother who bought a £350,000 new-build home just nine feet from a busy 70mph A-road has insisted she isn’t ‘stupid’ but didn’t realise the noise would be so bad.
Jackie McCormack, 58, and her husband James viewed the detached three-bed home in Coleshill, near Birmingham, seven times before moving in at the end of February.
Their dream quickly turned sour after they realized the thundering of cars and lorries could be heard on weekdays between 5.30am and 8.30pm – while at weekends boy racers roared past at speeds of up to 100mph until the early hours.
Mr McCormack – who makes aircraft engines with Rolls Royce – said the blasting noise at their home is comparable to what he hears at work.
But critics said the couple – who are calling for a 40mph speed limit on the road – should have known the noise would be bad living next to a dual carriageway.
But Mrs McCormack said the house shouldn’t have been built that close to the road in the first place and insists she ‘didn’t think it was going to be this bad’.
Testing showed the sound hits 85 decibels inside her home and 120 in her garden, she said.
Jackie McCormack (pictured in her garden), 58, and her husband James viewed the detached three-bed home in Coleshill, near Birmingham, seven times before moving in at the end of February
She said she and her husband spent their first night in the house, which borders the A446 Lichfield Road, on a Friday but by the next morning the noise ‘was absolutely horrendous’. Pictured, a lorry travels along the road nine feet from Mrs McCormack’s garden fence
Thundering of commuting cars and lorries could be heard weekdays between 5.30am and 8.30pm. On weekends boy racers roared past at speeds of up to 100mph until the early hours, Mrs McCormack said. Pictured, the house borders the road
Mrs McCormack told
Mrs McCormack, who works as a disability charity advocate, said the sound was ‘absolutely horrendous’, adding: ‘I know it’s a really important road but it’s impacting our mental health.’
She said she does not blame the estate agent, but if the viewings had been at 2pm ‘we wouldn’t have touched it with a barge pole’.
Now she is campaigning for the council to install crash barriers and reduce the speed limit to 40mph so her grandson can play in the garden safely.
One neighbour said that while they feel sorry for the couple, they should have predicted sound levels.
The resident – who has not been named – said: ‘You should know what the noise is like before you buy a house next to a dual carriageway’.
The McCormacks initially put in an offer on a four-bedroom new build on the same estate priced at £375,000, but changed their mind when a three-bed came up for £25,000 less.
The average cost of homes in Coleshill is £233,624, according to Rightmove, although the majority are flats and terraced homes.
The McCormacks and her husband spent their first night in the house, which borders the A446 Lichfield Road, on a Friday and by the next morning realised the extent of the problem.
Despite setting the garden up with a goal post for her grandson, she added: ‘My garden’s a no go area and I think it always will be, unless they reduce that speed, it’s too much of a danger.
‘I wouldn’t allow my grandson to play outside, it’s too scary. It’s the speed at which the juggernauts go past, it’s the speed of the racers, they’re doing wheelies, it’s absolutely shocking.
‘I didn’t realise there was an injunction regarding boy racers on the A446, they don’t take any notice of it,’ she added, revealing she had not researched the area before making the move.
The A446, also known as Lichfield Road, runs to the north east of Birmingham in the West Midlands and acts as the city’s main bypass, allowing traffic to move smoothly around the metropolitan
Mrs McCormack wants the council to install crash barriers and reduce the speed limit to 40mph so her grandson is safe to play in the garden. Pictured, the house is circled
‘The [boy racers] started at 11am on the Saturday and went right the way through to 4am on Sunday, hitting speeds of 90 – 100mph.
‘On the Monday, it started with the heavy good vehicles – my house was constantly shaking. You don’t get any respite at all, it’s relentless. It’s like living next to a motorway.
The couple now have to wear earplugs to bed and wash their windows up to four times a week because of the dust
‘There’s lights and every now and again you get a sway of the HGV vehicles, my fence is 9ft away from the edge of the A446.’
The A446, also known as Lichfield Road, runs to the north east of Birmingham in the West Midlands and acts as the city’s main bypass, allowing traffic to move smoothly around the metropolitan.
But pollution from the road is so severe Mrs McCormack says she could write her name in the dust that travels through her converter fan to settle in her en suite.
Last year the couple decided to move from their large Victorian home in Kings Heath because they dreamed of living in a detached property.
‘We absolutely fell in love with the house,’ she said. ‘I was in a beautiful Victorian house but I thought we always wanted a detached house, and we jumped at it and I wish we could just go back.
‘[The new house] was perfect for us. It was a little bit smaller, it was closer to where my husband works at Rolls Royce in Solihull.’
The couple now have to wear earplugs to bed and wash their windows up to four times a week because of the dust.
She said: ‘The HGVs are absolutely horrendous, and the pollution that comes out of them, it’s disgraceful.
‘I’m washing my windows three or four times a week, it’s disgusting. If the pollution is going onto our windows and our cars, what are we breathing in?’
She denied accusing the estate agent of ‘duping’ her, but added: ‘If it had been about 2pm, we would have said ‘what the hell’ and we wouldn’t have touched it with a barge pole.’ Pictured, the house during construction
She is now lobbying Warwickshire County Council, which is responsible for the road, for stronger safety measures – including a 40mph limit across the 2624-foot stretch of road lined with houses.
She said: ‘I’m going to fight to the nail to get this sorted out. I’m not moving, I can’t move because nobody would buy the house.
‘They’ve said they haven’t had any crashes in years, but I’m not prepared to take that risk. They have to reduce the speed, they have to.’
She said she ‘absolutely fell in love’ during several viewings which all took place on Saturday mornings.
‘It’s a beautiful property. But I think because it was so close to the road, no wonder they dropped it by £25,000. Anyway, we went out and had a look at it on a number of occasions, absolutely beautiful, we moved in and it all started from there.
‘I’m not saying we were duped, I think they [estate agents] should have been a little more forthcoming with the times they were allowing us to come see.
‘If it had been about 2pm, we would have said ‘what the hell’ and we wouldn’t have touched it with a barge pole.
‘I’m not blaming the planners [either], but how they got planning permission to build a house so close to the road, I will never know.’
Warwickshire County Council said it was aware of the problem and will consider ‘very carefully’ whether to recommend possible solutions. Pictured, Mrs McCormack and the road
She revealed her neighbours, who bought houses further away from the road, also feel the rumbling and cannot open their windows because of the noise and dirt.
She added: ‘My neighbour says: ‘Jackie, I wish I could turn back the hands of time, because I would never have bought this house’.
‘My worry is there should be a speed limit of 40mph because of the residential estate, it’s not just one house here there’s several houses going on the stretch of this road and it’s only a small stretch of the A446.’
A father-of-one who lives in the same estate but did not want to be named revealed he wants to stay and raise his children there regardless of the road.
He told MailOnline: ‘We moved in on December 1, so a few months ago. We were aware of the road and how busy it was going to be.
‘I’ve got a very young child and that’s my biggest concern. I know this house isn’t stopping a car coming through.
‘All it will take is one idiot to come down here and people do speed stupidly fast and we can hear it. It’s such a nice house and we don’t plan on moving, we bought it to stay here and have our children grow up here.’
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she realised the road would be busy when she bought her home in August last year.
‘We bought ours back in August because the houses are just so nice,’ she said. ‘I knew it was a busy road but we’re further back and not on the road so it’s not as bad for us.
‘If we have the windows open we can hear the cars and lorries but as soon as we close them we can’t hear a thing. It’s not great but we’re further back so it doesn’t bother us as much.’
Warwickshire County Council said it is aware of the problems and will consider ‘very carefully’ whether to recommend possible solutions.
A spokesperson said: ‘A meeting is currently being arranged with various stakeholders to discuss this.
‘Obviously, there is no guarantee that it will be possible to provide any measures, but we will consider the issues raised very carefully and aim to recommend possible solutions.’
MailOnline has contacted the estate agents for comment.
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