A SHOCKED pensioner says he is horrified after building work started on adding a new top floor to flats behind his home.

A huge crane appeared over the Clacton skyline this week as work started to extend Harlech House in Carnarvon Road.

Les Cook's home, in Hayes Road, backs on to the five-storey former government offices which are now used as flats.

He was gobsmacked when work began on two new apartments on top of the existing building.

"I'm livid," said Mr Cook, who claims he had no idea the plans had been given the go-ahead after previous proposals were turned down.

"There is the biggest crane you have ever seen looming over my house, virtually in my back garden.

"I own my house and try to keep it respectable but they have painted the back of the building red and it looks like an eyesore."

Mr Cook originally comes from London.

He says the crane is enormous - even compared to those used in the capital.

"I knocked on my neighbour's door and they are also fuming about it," he said.

"People in the flats can already see into my garden – I don't want another storey on top of what is already there.

"But we only found out at the eleventh hour so we couldn't complain."

There were just two objections to the plans which were given the go-ahead almost a year ago.

One complained that Harlech House already dominated the Clacton skyline.

Mr Cook says he was unaware of the proposed development.

But Tendring Council, which approved the planning application, insists residents were consulted and that they wrote to Mr Cook.

A spokesman said: "We wrote to 72 and 74 Hayes Road because they share a common boundary and there was a site notice."