A frustrated homeowner has voiced his concerns over a ‘decaying wall’ in his garden.

Paul Whittle, 79, who has lived on Portland Road in Wyke Regis for the past 23 years has been asking Dorset Council and All Saints' Church to deal with the stability of a churchyard wall.

Mr Whittle says that the wall is in an increasingly poor state to the point where he feels it ‘threatens the integrity’ of his property and a possible collapse into his garden where the wall leans into his.

He said: "I feel as though I've been banging my head against a brick wall. It's been a total frustration and I'm really fed up as there has been no clear explanation on why the work cannot be carried out."

The issue has been disputed for the past year, with Mr Whittle receiving correspondence from the church’s warden, Gary Hepburn, regarding the matter.

Mr Whittle said that he has also written several time to Dorset Council regarding his concerns, saying they had the ‘inexplicable inability’ to progress the matter and to repair the wall.

He said: “I fear that the matter has moved from mild concern to irritation to exasperation and now very real concern.

According to Mr Whittle, the church had informed him that the council own the wall.

A representative from the council met with Mr Whittle and told him that the wall was not going to collapse.

During the meetings, Mr Whittle also pointed out large cracks in the wall which he feels is being caused by the encroaching bush on the All Saints' side, which grows into the wall. 


Dorset Echo: Mr Whittle said: “I am aware that the wall is not about to collapse, this being something even I can say with some certainty as it is supported on my side by the wall of my threatened living room.

“My main concern is the likelihood of, as the wall decays further, my living room being invaded by damp and mould.

“Unless there is indifference or inefficiency at play, I suggest that there is no good reason why this matter needs to take a year and counting to progress.”

Mr Whittle added that he has tried to offer financial help regarding the issue. He said: “As a further encouragement I also offered to, in part, help finance the repair.”

Dorset Echo: Paul Whittle next to the crack on his side of the wallGary Hepburn, church warden for the All Saints Church said: “The wall is the boundary of the churchyard under the Burial Act 1855. The maintenance and repair of closed for burial churchyards and the boundaries fall to the local authority, so the issue of repair is not one for the church it falls to the local authority and is in the hands of Dorset Council.

“The church understands the matter has become complicated as the neighbour of the church is both using the boundary wall as a support for part of his property and has incorporated it into another part of the property and so it no longer becomes a simple boundary wall repair which would have been done a long time ago.

“We understand the local authority is taking legal advice on how to proceed as there does not appear to be any permission granted for the use of the wall to support his property.”

A spokesperson for Dorset Council, said: "We have been in regular contact with the resident regarding his concerns, and have recently informed him that we are seeking legal advice to clarify what action we can take. As soon as we have this clarification, we’ll be in touch."