A PENSIONER says he is living in fear next to a 'dangerous' building site that has opened up a 10-metre drop between his property and excavated ground beside it.

Gerald Timoney, who stays next door to the Marturano Homes development on Dougliehill Terrace in Port Glasgow, says his garage and garden wall have been left hanging over the deep drop and is worried they could collapse.

The 76-year-old says he and his wife Eleanor have been frightened ever since a fire on the site in January destroyed the properties that were being built.

The site was closed down fully by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in December 2021 due to 'unsafe conditions' and this month HSE bosses partially stopped construction work close to the embankment.

Mr Timoney, who says his wife has been left 'worried sick' over the site, told the Tele: "Since the fire burnt the neighbouring properties to the ground this has been an unsafe environment to live in.

"My garage and wall has been left hanging over into this huge drop and bordering trees that are over 20-years-old have disappeared into the excavation.

"I can't let my dog out in the garden, as it wouldn't survive a drop that high.

"Neither would a person, if someone put a foot wrong they would be seriously injured."

Mr Timoney says the fire also damaged his gutters and downpipes meaning rainwater also runs down the side of his property.

He told the Tele: "The guttering melted in the fire, so the water just hits the ground.

"We're just shattered with it, it's a terrible thing hanging over us all the time.

"We just want to be able to feel safe in our home.

"If the embankment keeps eroding away who knows what will happen, it's so worrying."

After an HSE inspector visited the site last week, the decision was taken to stop works close to Mr Timoney's home.

A spokesperson for the government agency added: "Following concerns raised by a member of the public, we inspected this site in December 2021 and enforcement action was taken to stop all construction work due to unsafe site conditions.

"Following further concerns made, an inspector visited the site in June 2022 and action was taken to stop construction work close to an unsafe embankment.

"Safety on all construction sites is of significant importance for workers and residents."

But the owner of Marturano Homes, Alfie Marturano, has hit back at Mr Timoney's complaints, claiming they are financially-motivated.

After the Tele contacted the businessman and put Mr Timoney's concerns to him he said: "None of it is true, he is simply seeking compensation from our insurers although nothing of his has been damaged other than some trees which he planted on my land.

"I have told him I am happy to reinstate these at my personal cost although I have no obligation to do so.

"The ground at the back of his garage does not even have the foundations exposed and is in no danger of being undermined for the foreseeable future.

"The fact that there is an extreme drop in his garden towards the river is the reason that he keeps his dog on a lead."

Mr Marturano also alleged that Mr Timoney 'trespasses' on the site.

He said: "Work restarted on site a few weeks ago and he comes to the gate or trespasses on site almost daily.

"This has become so bad that I have had to inform the authorities, as I am not comfortable with him being on site.

"He has not had an induction, walks too close to exposed dangers and gets too close to operating machinery.

"I cannot have him walking about the site as he a safety risk to himself and others."