AN OXENHOPE resident was shocked to return home from work to find a large chunk of his garden immediately outside his house had collapsed.

John Scott, 56, of Denholme Road, Leeming, said the gaping hole at the side of his home was caused by excavation work next door to his property as part of a development to build a new house.

Soil, bushes, trees and a wooden fence have all fallen into the hole. Mr Scott said he feared the subsidence could spread to his house, especially if the weather turns wet.

Mr Scott said: "The destruction of my land and risk of further damage to my property is devastating to me. This has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life.

"The surveyor at my insurance company was appalled at the pictures I sent to them last week."

He said the development next door to his home was being carried out by a man called Steve Taylor. Mr Taylor declined to comment when contacted by the Keighley News this week.

Mr Scott said he was horrified to discover the damage when he returned to his home after work on June 16.

"I'd been concerned about this planning application, but that was more due to its effect on the conservation area and the new property being out of character," he said.

"I hadn't anticipated anything like this, because I expected safety measures would have been put in place.

"I currently have no access down the side of my property to my basement and garden, apart from by gaining access through my neighbour's garden.

"I now have a structural engineer advising me and liaising with Mr Taylor's engineer to limit further damage to me, and agree a plan to begin to put right the damage, which has to be agreed under the terms of the Party Wall Act.

"I'm currently waiting for Mr Taylor to put more backfill into the hole, to limit the risk of further collapse, as requested by my structural engineer."