Angry residents blame Network Rail for being "kept in the dark" over a gantry being built directly opposite their Carpenders Park flat.

Sandra Brown, whose Gibbs Couch flat overlooks the railway lines, said the transport company should not be allowed to "do what they want" when it affects other people’s properties.

The 63-year-old retired electrical buyer, whose kitchen overlooks the railway lines, said she and her neighbours were not aware of the development when work began about a month ago.

Mrs Brown said: "It’s not the fact that it’s going to be there, it is that we haven’t been told it is going to be there.

"We know Network Rail own the land, but if they can do what they like, why can’t somebody else do what they like infront of somebody else’s building.

"I didn’t think they had carte blanche to do what they wished without planning permission."

Mrs Brown, who has lived in the flat since 1998, said she and her husband, Frank, only found out about the planned renovations when they saw machinery digging the foundations for the gantry a few weeks ago.

So far, the grandmother said she has had no response from the railway provider, and she has only been informed that the construction will begin next month by the workmen.

She said: "We were approached about five weeks ago by contractors of Network Rail, asking permission to take our fencing down to gain access to the railway side by Carpenders Park Station.

"They said at that time they were doing some work and needed to clear a pathway, as they were clearing weeds that were coming through our fencing and we agreed.

"A week later, on a Sunday morning, there was a lot of noise. When we looked out of our window, which backs onto the railway, we were presented with a very large JCB and quite a few Network Rail contractors.

"They were digging up the earth mound directly outside my kitchen window."

Mr Brown, a 59-year-old retired electrical foreman, said where the proposed gantry is going to be built will be in the couple’s "direct eyeline".

He added: "We’re not against the work being carried out, but there are areas to the left and right of where they want to put this thing that would not affect our view or possibly devalue our properties, and we would not be affected by lights and hooters."

Most of all, the couple say they "want some answers and not be kept in the dark".