Family who refused to leave home has lived in middle of roundabout for 40 years

A family lived on a roundabout for 40 years after refusing to leave their home as the circular road was built around them.

David John and Eirian Howatson moved into the bungalow in Denbighshire, Wales, in 1960 – almost two decades before plans were submitted for the roundabout.

However, their lives were turned upside down when the Denbigh bypass was built around their home.

David and Eirian refused to move after being told they could not build another bungalow on their small holding.

The roundabout was completed in 1980 by which time David John had sadly passed away.

But 42 years later, it remains in the Howatson family.

Life on the roundabout “does get busy at times”, says Clwyd Howatson, who has lived there for most of his life, now with his wife and son.

The Howatsons, the 64-year-old says, is a big family with seven children and 12 grandchildren who visit the roundabout regularly.

“We don’t have to worry about any neighbours, but life on the roundabout does get busy at times – especially when the grandchildren stay over,” Clwyd told NorthWalesLive.

“I’ve lived on the roundabout for over 40 years so it’s pretty much all I know. We’d lived here for 20 years before that as well so it’s been in the family for a long time.”

Naturally, having spent most of his adult life on the roundabout, Clwyd says it’s something he has become used to. It’s more of a conversation piece with other people who always ask the same two questions, he says.

Clwyd added: “The first is always: ‘how do you get to your house?’ which is fairly self-explanatory with the drive at the bottom.

“And the second is always: ‘is it noisy?’ which it isn’t really – I’d say it’s like living by any road but it’s not that bad, we have double glazing so it’s not something that bothers us and the road only gets really busy at peak times which is only a few times a day.

“Getting off the roundabout on the other hand can be a bit of a challenge. When people are on a roundabout they don’t expect someone to come out of the roundabout itself so we do get a few double-takes.

“It can be a bit awkward as well if someone lets you go because someone could be coming up on the other lane, but we don’t really have any issues with it, we just tend to wait until it’s a bit quieter which is most of the time.”

Arranging deliveries in more rural areas can be a challenge in itself, but – understandably – it can take a while for drivers to see that the Howatsons’ home is on the roundabout, not on a nearby road, Clwyd says.

“We share the same post code as the houses around us so it can take a while for drivers to realise the house is on the roundabout if they’ve not been before.

“Normally when we give instructions it’s fine, but I do end up saying: ‘No, no, we’re not by the roundabout – we’re on it’ and they always sound a bit dubious until they get here.”

As for crashes, Clwyd says they’ve been lucky over the years and haven’t seen anything serious.

However there were a few occasions when the roundabout was first built where people would somehow manage to go around it the wrong way.

In terms of what the future holds, Clwyd says they may consider moving at some point when they’re older.

But they have no plans to move at the moment and they expect the house will stay in the family for years to come.