Firing range 'shakes my house'

A COUPLE have told how their home shook and cracks appeared in the wall after an explosion from an Essex military range.Garrick Willis and his wife, Dorothy, thought their roof had been blown off by the tremor at their bungalow in Sea Crescent, Jaywick last week.

A COUPLE have told how their home shook and cracks appeared in the wall after an explosion from an Essex military range.

Garrick Willis and his wife, Dorothy, thought their roof had been blown off by the tremor at their bungalow in Sea Crescent, Jaywick last week.

Mr Willis, 65, said paintings needed to be straightened and he considered taking his ornamental plates off the wall after massive vibrations from Shoeburyness ranges.

The army uses Foulness Sands about 15 miles away across the water from the Tendring Peninsular for the testing and destruction of munitions.


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Residents in Jaywick and Point Clear have complained that the explosions shatter their peace and have damaged their homes.

Mr Willis said: "I moved here a year ago in July and I had been here for a couple of months when the bangs started.

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"I didn't pay much attention at the time but over the last three months they have been getting worse and worse and worse. It really terrifies my dog.

"My wife was doing some ironing when all of a sudden there was this huge bang. She said to look at the roof as she thought it had come off.

"It hadn't but we have noticed two cracks had appeared in our wall from top to bottom which weren't there before."

The retired Staff Sergeant said the explosions were affecting his quality of life and his wife's.

"It worries us. We are worried about what it is doing to our property and the effect it is having on our animals," he said.

"I am trying to breed Senegal parrots but it is playing havoc with that as they have got so frightened by the bangs and vibrations."

Essex county and Tendring district councillor Roy Smith wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair voicing concerns of residents about the noise levels in August last year.

He said he would be taking the matter up again following an increase in complaints in recent weeks.

"My phone has been ringing continuously with people complaining," he said.

"The vibrations have been really wicked. I will be getting in touch with Number 10 again to let him know I am not satisfied and make him (Mr Blair) aware of the complaints."

A spokeswoman for the Ministry Of Defence said the complaints would be looked into.

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