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Dream homes turn into a nightmare for neighbours on Persimmon’s Hunters Gate development in Grantham

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Shoddy workmanship, terrible customer service and homelessness are just some of the issues homeowners on a Grantham housing development say they are facing.

And they have become so angry with developer Persimmon Homes, they have united and are standing together to demand action.

Twenty-one households from the Hunters Gate development off Springfield Road, have shared their stories.

One is the Tuck family, who are being forced to move out of their home for eight weeks while their ceilings are brought down and structural work carried out.

They moved into their new build in Tissington Road almost five years ago. The calls to Persimmon to complain began immediately and led 18 months ago to the involvement of the NHBC, a construction standards setting body.

The constant fight has been particularly upsetting for Julie Tuck, 44. She said: “We finally had our dream house. All four children had their own bedroom, which is what we always wanted. We could just live easily in it rather than needing to renovate or build an extension. But that’s not what happened.

“My little boy is six now and it’s been five years of ‘Mummy and Daddy have to ring the builders’ and ‘Mummy and Daddy have to email the builders’. We’ve lost that time with him.”

Meanwhile, another family is still waiting to move into their new home – almost a year after their completion date.

Anthony Burton, 45, said: “We’ve been living out of boxes for eight months. Nobody at Persimmon has kept us informed, we’ve had to go out of our way to find out what’s going on.

“April 30 was the last completion date and we can’t find out when the next one is. Nobody is telling us anything.”

His wife, Kirsty, 44, added: “There’s a general air of complacency. We’ve been watching throughout the various stages of the build. It has become obvious that things are not done as they should be. For example, the flooring for the upstairs floor was put down with no roof over it for about four months, all through the winter.”

The family’s new home is in Eyam Way, just around the corner from their current home in Kedleston Way. And while they remain in the house, the family which has bought their current property is unable to move in.

Mr Burton said: “Our main issue is the lack of care, response, apology, anything from Persimmon for putting us out for a year.”

Poor customer service is the main gripe from Martin Clark, 32, and Natasha Davies, 27, who moved into their Kedleston Road home in December.

From day one they complained about leaks, stains, wonky handles, missing brick mortar and more. Workmen have been out several times, leaving mess, missing repairs and even not turning up after the couple have arranged someone to stay home all day awaiting their call.

Mr Clark said: “It’s awful because the house cost us a lot of money, it’s just appalling. If I could turn back time I wouldn’t have bought it. Everywhere we look there’s something wrong, it’s never-ending.”

Since the Journal ran the story last week, several more residents have been in touch to share their concerns about the work of the developer, Persimmon Homes, and disgruntled customers from further afield have been in touch with the residents’ group to suggest joining forces.

Lisa Farren, 33, is playing a key role in the neighbours’ fight with Persimmon.

She said: “Since our media coverage we have had sites from Navenby, Lincoln and Peterborough wanting to unite. So hopefully our voice really will be heard.”

Lisa lives in Eyam Way on Hunters Gate with her partner Jordan Smith, 25. The couple moved into their brand new home six months ago when it was finally built after delays over several months.

And, like many of their neighbours, the couple’s many calls to Persimmon to demand answers fell on deaf ears. So angry was Lisa that she drove to the headquarters in Peterborough and refused to budge until she was seen by managing director Adrian Evans.

Lisa said: “I’d had no answers over the phone and I was coming to the plot three times a day to see what was going on. I was about ready to pull out.

“I drove to Peterborough and said I’m not moving until he [Adrian Evans] speaks to me. He came out and I told him this was our home. His answer was to withdraw us from the contract, but that didn’t solve us being homeless.

“I kicked up a stink and pushed and pushed and pushed. And they threw the house up, bascially.”

As a result, further calls and emails have followed to complain about the many problems and unfinished areas, including the rear garden (pictured right, top).

Lisa said: “This was our dream home and it’s become a nightmare home.”

Another couple furious with Persimmon’s version of garden design is Amanda and Andrew Smith, who believe a “a child could’ve made a better attempt with their Lego”.

They are referring to a design fault which has resulted in the building of the stepped pathway pictured to the right.

Amanda said: “Someone, presumably with very little common sense, ordered the construction of this monstrosity, which not only took up a sizeable chunk of the garden, but was also completely impractical and very ugly!

“The narrow width of the path, which would have been made worse when the fencing was erected against all the ‘drops’, meant that it would have only been useful for access for the slim members of the family and not when they were trying to carry anything - bonkers!”

The Smiths said this complaint was the first of many they have made, with “an appalling standard of customer care” resulting in no response from Persimmon.

PERSIMMON’S STATEMENT:

Managing director for Persimmon Homes East Midlands Adrian Evans has issued a statement.

He said: “We do of course apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience that may have arisen from the delays, but they have been on the whole beyond our control.

“However, in light of the complaints made by some of the residents living at Hunters Gate, we have held a meeting with the contractors to ensure all outstanding items are logged onto our system.

“John Rodda, our construction director, is rectifying these issues and will manage a programme of remedial works to bring this matter to a conclusion. Unfortunately, due to a turnover of site-based staff at the development, there has been a delay in dealing with a number of reported items.

“It has been agreed that all properties with outstanding works will be contacted by May 23 and a convenient programme of works will be agreed with each household. The issue regarding the family who have moved out of their property is in fact an NHBC resolution regarding creaking plasterboard and not as reported.

“However, what must be taken into consideration, is that all properties have been signed off by the NHBC prior to serving notice.”

 

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