Anger grows towards developer of Banbury homes

There are snagging problems and then there are Hanwell Chase snagging problems, as residents reach breaking point as pleas for the satisfactory completion of vital repairs, up to two years after reporting them, are ignored.

Friday, 10th May 2019, 10:30 am
Just some of the residents of Hanwell Chase who are still chasing developer Persimmon Homes for repairs to be done

For many residents the purchase of a Persimmon home on the Warwick Road estate marks their entry onto the housing ladder and one that should have meant a hassle free life in a home they could make their own. It has, however, marked the beginning of a two year battle for just the very basic living standards to be met.

Homeowners have reported defects, ranging from loose roof tiles to ill-fitting doors, to developer Persimmon Homes with little or no response or meaningful action.

Persimmon has said in a statement it will be liaising with residents to resolve the issues.

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The wrong street sign remains after being installed last December

Tony Fletcher, who moved into his home in June 2017 says he is still fighting to have his roof repaired after tiles started falling off.

Mr Fletcher said: “I have had problems with the roof from the day I moved in.

"Roof tiles have been falling off. In 2017 they repaired a leak by bodging the issue. They’ve been back to replace other slipping tiles and they have been using a mastic gun.

He added: “I had no other choice but to get somebody professional in at my own expense.”

After discovering plumbing hadn't been installed in a utility room Persimmon workers came and 'fixed' the problem

A self-employed, lifelong roofing expert assessed the roofing issues and provided an in-depth professional report, which Mr Fletcher says was rejected by Persimmon – because it didn’t have a letterhead on it.

In an email seen by the Banbury Guardian Mr Fletcher also contacted Persimmon regarding an ill-fitting front door, that presented a fire and security hazard, in February 2018. Almost ten months later a tradesman came to fit a new door, which turned out to also be faulty which was then replaced with the original ill-fitting door.

Residents have also complained about a lack of communication from Persimmon.

Roric Pellington, who moved in in June 2017, said: “At the minute we have had no shower enclosure on our en-suite for six weeks. We had it go at the end of last year, we had it repaired but it cracked again.

"Someone came out and supposedly re-grouted it, a snagging company, but they used tile adhesive which washed out again. A tiler came out to re-tile it and the tiles fell off again. That was six weeks ago.

He added: “For the first three weeks I couldn’t get hold of anybody, ringing, emailing, you name it, no answer.”

This inability to have a direct line of communication with Persimmon has lead several residents to by-pass them completely and raise concerns with either their housing association or National House Building Council (NHBC).

Karen May, who moved in in October 2017, said: “ Bromford, the housing association are even struggling to get the work done through Persimmon.

"My house has got loads of faults and we’ve been chasing it up and literally I’ve been phoning Bromford and they have been chasing Persimmon and they can’t even get through.”

A statement from NHBC said: “The NHBC Buildmark policy works in two-parts. During the first two years, the builder is responsible for putting right any defects which do not comply with NHBC’s technical standards.

“NHBC has been contacted by several residents from Hanwell Chase development, who have been provided with details about how we can assist under the resolution service.

“We recommend once new homebuyers have moved in, that they check the property thoroughly. Making sure any potential defects and deficiencies are noted, letting the builder know as soon as they are identified.

“It important to note that, for the first two years from completion, the builder has a responsibility to put right defects that were not seen at the time of moving in or that have developed during the two-year period.

It added: “We would urge homeowners to keep us informed of any problems they have as soon as they arise so that we are able to assist them as swiftly and effectively as possible.”

Residents who have managed to speak to someone from Persimmon say they have fared little better.

Homeowner Gemma Newman moved to Hanwell chase in December last year, she said: “When we flush our en-suite toilet the waste comes up through the shower. But because we have a bathtub and another shower it’s not serious and they wont come out to us.

“We called the emergency number and they asked if we had another toilet, we said yes, they said have you got another bath and we said yes we have a bathtub but no shower, and they said ‘well you have other facilities so it’s not an emergency.”

Other reported problems include residents being blocked in by building material after being given just a few minutes warning – once resulting in a postal van being blocked in for over two hours ending with a call to police; bathroom windows fitted in the wrong room; move in dates being missed costing the resident thousands in additional rental and storage costs; plumbing not being installed in utility rooms; solar panels fitted to the roof but not wired in; the installation of the wrong street sign resulting in mail being mis delivered and repair personnel going to and leaving the wrong home and a promised football pitch not being completed a year after the original completion date.

A spokesman from Persimmon Homes South Midlands, said: “We are sorry that Mr Fletcher was unhappy with his home. We are in contact with him and will be completing any works in accordance with NHBC standards.