Furore at Sawtry housing estate as residents claim poor workmanship turns dream homes into a nightmare

09:51 16 January 2014

Rowell Way, Sawtry.

Rowell Way, Sawtry.

Archant

Residents of a new Sawtry housing estate claim “the homes of their dreams have turned into the homes of their nightmares” because of unfinished and poor workmanship.

Residents of a new Sawtry housing estate claim “the homes of their dreams have turned into the homes of their nightmares” because of unfinished and poor workmanship.

Homeowners at the Charles Church site on Rowell Way told The Hunts Post they had been pushed into accepting homes that were not the finished article and, in some cases, needed workmen to finish essential jobs on the day they moved in.

The developer has said it is in the process of tackling the issues while the residents believe they should be compensated.

Chris Clark, 31, said his family had been “pushed in before Christmas”, despite their house being unfinished.

He said: “At 10 or 11am on December 21 we completed and collected our keys. When we got to the house there were no carpets or floors down and workmen were there until about 11pm. The biggest problem we have had is that they hadn’t ordered our vinyl floors. Our daughter is blind and we needed somewhere safe for her.

“When you pay £340,000, you expect a finished project. I’m disappointed and I think most of us have all been complaining quite heavily to Charles Church and hoping that we get compensated for the mess that we have been put through.”

He said Royal Mail could not deliver to homes due to safety concerns while building work was carried out in the road, although this recommenced on Tuesday (January 14) following a risk assessment.

Paula Storey, 45, and her partner Adrian Thomas, 40, employed a professional ‘snagger’ to fix “three pages” worth of problems at their home. The couple moved in on Friday and found issues including missing door handles, a poorly fitted shower door, poor quality plastering and woodwork on the staircase.

Ms Storey, an events organiser, said: “You buy a new-build so you don’t have these problems.”

For Lee Benniman, 44, and his partner Alison Lawrence, 51, the moving-in process was fraught. He said: “They were still putting cupboards in the kitchen while we were putting the boxes in. The health and safety aspects were phenomenal – there was a foot drop-off at either side of the driveway, which damaged my car, and a 240V electric cable sticking out by the front door.”

The couple said they cannot fully use their main bathroom as the taps have been installed on the wrong side of the shower – it means water goes around the screen.

Mr Benniman, an HGV driver, said: “I’m very angry, very disappointed and very let down by the builders. Everybody’s homes of their dreams have turned into the homes of their nightmares.”

Adrian Evans, managing director for Charles Church East Midlands, said: “We take all customer care issues very seriously. The project manager and site manager for The Mulberries has been in contact with all of the completed properties and any issues that were highlighted to them are in the process of being dealt with.

“In addition we will make contact with all of the customers to ensure that the works are being completed to their satisfaction and timescales.”

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