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Factory blamed for house subsidence

A factory in Leeds has been blamed for creating a subsidence problem at a nearby property.

AETC Ltd manufactures components for the aerospace industry and has a facility on Victoria Avenue in Yeadon.

However, a resident of the neighbouring Avenue Terrace believes the soil in his garden has been penetrated by chemicals from the factory, including caustic soda.

John Portman, 54, told the Yorkshire Evening Post that this has in turn damaged the foundations of his home and created a subsidence problem. This, he said, means the property has become impossible to sell.

AETC Ltd has disputed the claim, but is facing a legal battle from Mr Portman, who wants the company to pay him £500,000 in damages. This money would then be put towards demolishing his property and rebuilding it after installing a protective layer on the site to ensure the new foundations are not damaged by corrosive chemicals.

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, has intervened in the dispute, saying he is “very concerned about the lack of action in relation to this problem”.

“I would again urge all parties involved to properly investigate this issue and reach a positive outcome for Mr Portman and his family,” he commented.

Mr Mulholland added that the situation has changed little in the last five years, while the condition of Mr Portman’s property has continued to deteriorate during this time.

It is yet to proved whether or not Mr Portman’s belief about chemicals from the AETC factory being responsible for the subsidence problem in his house is correct.

Nevertheless, the case does highlight an issue that homeowners and prospective buyers might need to consider – whether or not nearby industrial activity could affect the condition and saleability of a property.

Mr Portman said he would struggle to give his home away in its current condition, adding that the last five years of his life have been “hell” and taken a toll on his marriage.

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