A homeowner who constructed an ‘awful’ blockade on his road, to dissuade school-run parents from pulling up in front of his house, is intending to turn a huge pothole into a lake.
Derek Woodacer has irritated neighbours in Mosley Common, Tyldesley, with his homemade road-blocking measures and schemes.
But he insists he doesn’t care, and that such disdain just makes him ‘more determined to carry on’, reports Manchester Evening News.
The 65-year-old dug a huge pothole in the road after a barricade that he built was removed, and he says that he will now make it into a lake.
The planned installation has been called ‘Lake Como-nside’ as a homage to one of his favourite holiday destinations, Lake Como in Italy.
He said: “I have more plans in the future. The pothole now, I am going to make it into Lake Como-nside.
“I have upset enough people but I just don’t care now. I don’t know where this leaves me with the neighbours now. This just makes me more determined to carry on.”
Derek says he has been battling with parents doing the school drop off at Mosley Common’s St John’s Primary School since he moved to the road five years ago as he believes they shouldn’t be parking on his street.
It has led to fights, vandalism, and complaints from neighbours – with one saying that his blockade could have prevented emergency vehicles and bin men getting through.
“I moved here five years ago and this is an unadopted road so the council is not responsible for it,” he added. “When I moved in I thought what the hell is this.
“The first week I saw a lot of people parking from the school. I felt a lot of abuse from parents when I told them they couldn’t park there.
“We have to pay to repair the road and it costs thousands. I met every resident on the road and they told me about all the problems.
“There have been assaults and property damage and we wanted to get this sorted. This was in terms of trying to stop people parking here.
“I said this is not acceptable and said there is no point in repairing the road if we can’t stop people parking here. They [Wigan Council] tried to force me to remove the stuff from the highway two months ago. That is when I got the notice. Then it was July 19 when they came to remove it.”
Ruby Howard, who has lived on Commonside Road all her life, believes that Derek’s passion has led him to go too far. She explained that his shenanigans in the early hours have given people sleepless nights.
“Originally our road is unadopted and we own up to halfway on the road to the middle of the street and we have the school at the end,” the 24-year-old said. “For 16 years we have always had a back and forth [with the school].
“We all paid for it to be resurfaced, the parents driving up and down and he took it upon himself to put barriers in. That has led to abuse arguments with parents. It looked awful.
“I contacted the council and have been trying to get it removed for two-and-a-half years. It got to the point where emergency vehicles and bin men couldn’t get through.
“It has been stressful, people on the street have sleepless nights. At first he was alright and wanted to help with the road, I think he got a bit too passionate.”
Another neighbour, who wanted to remain anonymous, gave an insight into what it has been like living next to Derek. She said: “He started first by tackling the parking by the school. It is minutes they are there dropping off, people understand and would rather children get in school safely.
“He has blocked the road before. He wants the attention. He made the hole bigger. It’s draining. I’ve never known anything quite like it.”