Brian and Barbara Dear fear their £259,000 detached home at Elvetham Heath in Fleet could blow up if gas and electricity pipes on their side wall are hit.

The couple bought their Charles Church home in Upper Mount Street 15 months ago.

"When we came to look at the house before we bought it there was scaffolding all around it," said Mr Dear.

"On the original plans the side of the house was going to be garden but now that's all changed.

"We are a corner house and there are gas and electricity pipes on the side wall.

"Cars are coming past here all the time and if one hits the cables then we are in big trouble. If a lorry hits the cable then the whole house could go up.

"The man who came to put up the street lights said he'd never known those pipes to be so exposed.

"There's another house with the same design nearby and they have got garden all around, but they don't even have cars passing their house.

"What we really need is something along the side of the house to stop vehicles from hitting the house, but Charles Church just do not want to know.

"It is a dangerous situation but the company will not do anything about it. They say they have done nothing wrong and built it to plan.

"Bollards have been put up to try and control the traffic but one has already been knocked over.

"I'm stuck with a house that is open to the elements — I've got no defence at all."

Mr Dear, a retired printer, is so worried that he has placed "Slow" signs outside his home to warn traffic of the dangers.

He is also upset that a kitchen window opens out on to the highway.

"That must be against planning regulations," he said.

Mr Dear was so upset he fired off a letter to Brian Thomson, regional managing director for Charles Church Southern and South-East.

Mr Thomson said the company had done nothing wrong, having built the house in accordance to the approved plans and design brief.

"The property, from what I can see, is what we agreed to build and what you agreed to purchase, and represents fair value for money," stated Mr Thomson in his reply to the letter.

Now Mr Dear is resigned to the fact that he will have to pay for railings along the side of his home.

But first he will have to check his neighbours do not object, and he will also need planning permission.

Meanwhile a Hart planning officer has warned that the move could prove complicated.

A letter to Mr Dear stated: "I suspect that the land in question forms part of the highway, which, while in the ownership of the developer at present, would pass to the highway authority on completion of the development.

"Any development affecting the highway would require authorisation and possibly a licence when the highway authority takes ownership of the land."

The planning officer added: "I do feel there is a safety issue with regard to the opening of the window on the side elevation of the property, particularly during the summer months.

"It would be normal to expect the window should open inwards in this situation.

"This is not something the council can help you with directly, except to say that you should approach the developer in the hope that they can provide you with a solution."

No-one from Charles Church or Hart District Council was available to comment.

Brian Dear is pictured by the side of his house which puts him in fear of his life.