Tractor rips hole in side of 15th-century listed house
A tractor has ripped out the corner of a 15th-century listed home in Norton St Philip causing major structural damage.
The Old Forge, in Town Barton, is the home of the Kemp family who woke on Sunday morning to the sound of crashing boulders.
Police were called and a structural engineer from Mendip District Council attended to check the house was safe.
As a result of the damage, structural supports have been put into place and the family has been told not to use the first floor sitting room above the damaged wall.
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Homeowner Jane Kemp said on impact the tractor had displaced boulder-type stones and there was now a large crack in the outside wall letting light into the ground floor .
Norton St Philip is a conservation village and recently had a 7.5-tonne limit imposed on vehicles except for access.
But villagers claim the limit is rarely observed by some lorry drivers who use the narrow roads as a through route to the A36 or to go to Radstock.
Mrs Kemp said: "It is ridiculous, we still have massive lorries coming through the village and the situation appears to have got worse in the last 12 to 15 months.
"We have no raised pavement outside our house and I really fear for the children who regularly walk to and from school along these narrow roads."
Villagers have been trying to find ways to deal with the traffic problems, which include speeding and overweight vehicles, particularly with more families due to move into the village on to the new housing development which is under construction.
Sunday's accident has galvanised villagers into holding a public meeting this week to try to find resolutions to the traffic problems. High on the agenda is introducing a 20mph speed limit.
The date and venue of the meeting is still to be confirmed.
Resident Derek Archer has lived in the village since 1980 and said signs warning drivers of the weight restriction were inadequate, particularly on the A36.
Mr Archer said: "We are still getting heavy lorries coming through the village, in my opinion drivers using sat-nav are driving through Norton St Philip despite the weight restrictions and that includes a lot of foreign vehicles."