'Devastated' Couple Wake Up To Find Stunning £850,000 Riverside Cottage Sinking
Imagine waking up, looking out of the window and everything is on a slant. Not because you've got one leg longer than the other but because your house is literally sinking. You'd probably wish it was the leg thing.
That's what happened to Ken and Gail Pitts who woke to discover that their stunning £850,000 ($1million) riverside cottage on the Norfolk Broads was slowly dropping into the ground below. You'd imagine they've had better mornings.
Around three months ago the couple were horrified to find that their idyllic thatched home on the River Bure at Horning in Norfolk had developed a severe lift - however, they say the sinking happened 'overnight'.
Neighbours have claimed the 1970s-built cottage started sinking shortly after it was re-thatched because wooden pile foundations had broken under the weight.
The couple have now been forced to move out of their home of 17 years while they wait to find out whether it will have to be demolished.
Signs have been erected around the property with the words 'Danger; Unsafe' and another pointing out the blatantly obvious: 'CAUTION! Uneven Surface'.
Today Ken said there had been no warning signs that the west side of their home starting to sink and that it simply happened overnight, leaving them 'devastated'.
He and his wife declined to speak further and said they are working with their insurers to try and find a resolution.
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The site of their reed-thatched home leaning significantly to one side has caused a stir among locals and passers-by who have since taken to Facebook to express their concerns.
One said: "I heard one end was steel piles, the other was old wooden piles. It's the wood piles that have collapsed. They are going to take off the thatch to save it and then demolish. Very sad."
Another wrote: "We passed this last week and I actually couldn't bear to look at it, too upsetting!" A third added: "I used to dream of living there when I was a child. So sad to see this."
The three-bedroom house offers a large garden with a river frontage, along with allocated boat mooring and fishing opportunities.
It also includes a master bedroom with king-sized bed and balcony, a well-equipped kitchen and a light and airy sitting room leading out onto a large riverside sundeck.
A Broads Authority spokesperson said: "It is a huge shame that this lovely cottage appears to be in such a precarious position. Unfortunately it is something that can be an ongoing danger for properties built on unstable ground.
"We wish the owners all the best as they assess what can be done. If the cottage is within our area as a planning authority, we would offer free pre-planning advice, should this be needed in the future."
The owners, who are in their 60s and have been married for 41 years, were contacted for further comment but did not wish to speak.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS