Neighbours’ joy as dilapidated house is demolished

The house finally succumbs to the force of gravity - with only a little help

The house finally succumbs to the force of gravity - with only a little help

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A ruinous house which has been a blight to neighbours in Douglas for years has finally been demolished.

The large and once grand Victorian end-terrace house at the top of Woodbourne Road had been a source of concern to neighbour Jim MacGregor for years, most recently after slates started falling from the roof and landing in his garden.

Earlier this year, Mr MacGregor told the Isle of Man Examiner about his concerns over falling masonry and possible vermin infestation at the house which was inhabited by a sizeable pigeon population which had found a way in through the missing roof slates and broken windows.

Matters started to look up, however, when planning permission was granted to demolish the property, while supporting the adjoining terrace, and replace it with two smaller terraced houses, each with parking at the back.

The planning application shows the new houses are to be designed to match the style of the old house and therefore be in keeping with the remainder of the Victorian terrace. Where possible, mature trees on the site were to be pruned and retained.

Mr MacGregor said the house had been empty since before he moved to the area and he was delighted to see some progress finally being made.

‘We are really pleased something is being done,’ he said.

‘We don’t know when the building work will start on the replacement houses but already the situation is very much improved. My big concern was that the property was unstable because there were such big cracks in the walls.

‘They told us we had to get out of our house while the demolition was going on and it worked well because we were on holiday,’ he said.

There is still some work remaining to be done on the site, Mr MacGregor said – support was to be added to the end wall of his house where it had adjoined the demolished house and the end wall would also need rendering and waterproofing now it is open to the elements.

A section of Ballaquayle Road had to be closed for several days while the demolition took place.

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