Neighbouring onto nightmare for mum

A YOUNG mum says she is living a daily nightmare because of drug addicts who flock to an empty house next to hers.

And the boarded-up property on Top Street, Hemsworth, was set on fire in the latest incident, which has left Claire Britton fearing for her life and that of nine-month-old son Ty.

The 22-year-old was walking back from a shopping trip last Wednesday morning when she saw smoke coming from from the loft of number 71.

The blaze spread to her attic and firefighters said if she hadn’t noticed the smoke, it would have spread even further.

Miss Britton said: “Living here is an absolute nightmare. I fear for my life and my son’s life every day. A fireman told me that the fire was smouldering and would have spread if left alone. It could so easily have spread into Ty’s bedroom while he was asleep.”

Miss Britton, who privately rents her home, claims drug-users have broken into council-owned number 71 and thrown needles into her back yard. She is now on a waiting list for Wakefield and District Housing to re-house her.

She said: “I shouldn’t have to bring my son up in this environment, especially when needles are getting thrown in the back yard.”

Miss Britton first moved to Top Street in 2003 and lived there for two years until she was re-housed in South Elmsall.

But she moved back to Top Street after her house was bought by the council as part of a scheme to regenerate the area.

Close Street, Town Street and Top Street are set to be torn down as part of regeneration plans by various agencies including the council and WDH.

She added: “It’s so frightening living here, I am a bag of nerves. I daren’t leave the house and if I don’t get out, I dread to think what the consequences will be. I need to be moved as soon as possible.”

Steve Rawson, director of operations for Wakefield and District Housing said: “We will do everything we can to help Ms Britton. However, having previously been re-housed as a top priority tenant by WDH and then giving up her tenancy to move into private rented accommodation, if she was to apply for a WDH home she would have to join the waiting list like any other housing applicant.”

A spokesman for Wakefield Council said the property next door does belong to the council.

“We have taken efforts to secure it,” added the spokesman.

“Intruders had ripped off the secure metal sheeting and were there illegally.

“When we heard about the fire, we immediately made the house safe and resecured the property with metal sheeting.

“We are looking at rehousing tenants from properties in that area as part of a longer-term regeneration programme, and we will continue to work with people living there to make it as safe and comfortable as possible in the meantime.”