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VIDEO: Horsham residents angry at Network Rail over erection of ‘New Berlin Wall’

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Angry Horsham homeowners have hit out at the erection of a ‘New Berlin Wall’ overshadowing their back gardens this week.

Network Rail started work on a £4.5m project to provide extra platform capacity and widen existing ones at Littlehaven Railway Station in September 2013.

But residents whose gardens are overlooked by the new platforms are furious that for some sections a 11-foot high wooden fence has been erected, while other properties suffer from the opposite problem and are unscreened to passengers.

Nora Smith, who has lived with her husband Dennis in Swallowtail Road since 1978, described the fencing between the new platforms and her garden as ‘very claustrophobic and horrible to look at’.

She said: “Why does it have to be 11-foot high? It’s a monstrosity to look at and people are getting so upset.

“We are not saying take the fence down, all we want is for the fence to be lowered as we used to be looking at the trees and greenery but now we are looking at the New Berlin Wall.”

Swallowtail Road residents including Jenny Bance, spoke of their frustration at the level of information given to them by Network Rail during the entire project. She also raised the level of noise from new loudspeakers, which she described as being ‘far too loud’.

June Sherlock said she was in tears when they put up the fence and said it had left her feeling depressed.

Eileen McDade, of Serrin Way, added: “We did not get a chance to give our opinion to anybody.

“We all feel angry, we were not consulted and we were not allowed to give our views.”

The group expressed the hope that similar trees and vegetation would be planted alongside the border once the project is completed.

Further down Swallowtail Road Jill and Colin Christensen said they were unable to let their two young sons play in the back garden with a stream of on-lookers filing past their property.

While he voiced his support for the station Mr Christensen expressed frustration that his emails and telephone calls to Network Rail had seemingly been ignored.

The project was initially scheduled to finish in April, but residents say this has been moved back to June.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “In terms of being overlooked, the new platform sections have been provided with wooden fencing so that people’s gardens are not overlooked by passengers at the station.

“This fencing will be introduced on the new platform sections as they are built, but cannot be put up until they are in place.”

 

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