AN ANGRY mum claims sewage works has wrecked her family home, causing it to plummet in value.
Michelle Ainscough, 40, says her house is subsiding and has been left cracked and crooked and without a fire in the run-up to Christmas.
And she claims the company responsible has failed to repair the home where she has lived for 17 years - despite promises that it would.
Mrs Ainscough, 40, who lives with her family in Stourton Street, Rishton, said: "I just want my house back. We have had it surveyed and it has lost over £19,000 in value."
She said it was going to cost over £55,000 to repair the house, adding: "That's not including new carpets or replacing wrecked wardrobes. Now the company knows what it's going to cost it won't pay."
Balfour Beatty was sub-contracted by United Utilities in February to lay new sewerage pipes down a side alley near the gable end of Mrs Ainscough's home.
As soon as the work began, a cushion of silt that the house was built on was dislodged, causing the house to subside and causing cracks in the walls and floorboards to bend, making it impossible to close windows or doors.
Mrs Ainscough, who has three children, Lewis, six, Sam, 15, and Ruth, 19, added: "My son and my 15-year-old daughter both have asthma and as soon as the house dropped the damp came through. My daughter has to sleep in a draughty room because we can't shut the roof window."
First Choice Estates, Accrington, carried out a valuation of the house in September 2004 and valued it at £98,000, but a year later it was valued at £79,950, saying this was a realistic value as a result of "substantial damage".
Balfour Beatty has put up structural supports to make the gable safe, but as a result the back entrance to a number of homes on Clifton Street has been blocked off.
Mrs Ainscough claims that after 15 meetings with Balfour Beatty the company promised to repair the house and a date for the end of August was set to underpin it.
The Ainscoughs were given two weeks notice to leave their home so repairs could begin, but they refused, saying the underpinning would only stop further subsidence and not restore the house to its original state.
A spokesperson for Balfour Beatty said: "The property damage claim made by Mr and Mrs Ainscough is currently being dealt with by loss adjusters appointed by ourselves who are liaising with the customer's insurers and our appointed sub-contractors. We are awaiting a conclusion to the insurance issues before work can continue at this location."