"I don't want to die" says Leyland flat row gran - who has now threatened to live in a tent in her garden

Gail Norris
Gail Norris

A grandmother who booked herself into a hotel, rented a caravan and slept in her car because she says her home is making her ill is now threatening to live in a tent in her front garden.

Gail Norris, 55 - who has also slept on a mattress on the kitchen floor - has lived in her Leyland flat since Feburary 2018.

But she says she is at her wits’ end due to the poor condition of the New Progress Housing Association property which she claims is damaging her health.

She says mould and mildew in the flat are making it unbearable to live in.

Now she says: I’m seriously considering getting a tent and putting it in my front garden. I’m running out of money and and energy and I’m very very poorly."

Gail revealed she had booked a hotel room “about eight times” in the last three months to get away from the premises on Fox Lane.

Her lowest point came, though, when she moved out to sleep in her car.

“It’s causing an obstruction in my airwaves,” said Gail, who says her health improves when she is away from the property. “I’ve been away for three nights and I can breathe perfectly.”

She is so fearful about her health when she is there, she said: “I don’t want to die in this place.”

She continued: “I was so exhausted, went to sleep and two-and-a-half hours later woke up choking to death. I couldn’t breathe. I vomited phlegm in the sink.”
Environmental Health have investigated.

Gail, who claims disability benefit, and sought medical treatment, said the problems have been there since she was first offered the flat.

“When I got shown round it was literally covered with black mildew mould. I refused to go into the property at that time. There was very visible mildew half way up the kitchen door. I postponed moving in for 10 days. I’ve had to pay cleaners to get rid of it.”

The grandmother, who is registered disabled and suffers from heart problems among other conditions, went on: “There’s something in that property.

“I can’t breathe in it. I have to get out, you’re gasping for air.

“As soon as I enter it I feel burning in the middle of my throat - I’ve no problems away from the place.”

Gail, who has lived in Leyland all her life, worked for the L & B Rubber Company in the town for 16 years.

She said: “I won’t give up until they’ve rectified this - I don’t want anyone else to go through this.”

Tammy Bradley, Deputy Executive Director at Progress Housing Group, said: “We are aware that Ms Norris, who has resided in her property for the past 18 months, is concerned about issues of mould and mildew in her home.

“As a result we have spoken to her a number of times, provided advice and carried out some works to the property to assist with ventilation.

“A recent report produced by Environmental Health stated the property has ‘adequate facilities to manage moisture...’ and that there is ‘...no indication of rising damp or penetrating dampness.’

“It further comments that the manner in which she is using the heating system creates ‘...an ideal environment for moisture to condensate and upon surfaces which may lead to mould growth’.

“We will continue to work with Ms Norris and do everything we can to support her in her tenancy.”