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Nails, floods and missing gates: Telford residents fed up of life ‘on building site’

By Rob Smith | Telford | Property | Published:

Residents have accused a developer of breaking promises and making them live “on a building site” for 10 years.

From left, disgruntled residents, Ross Roberts, Anna Wootton with Harry, aged nine months, and Paul Wootton

Persimmon developed a portion of the Lawley Village block of houses and flats.

Now, the newly-formed Lawley Village Community Association has criticised developers for leaving roads unsurfaced, drains blocked and residents in ‘legal limbo’.

Jim Weir, chair of the group, explained: “There are very significant problems with the developers on this estate and relationships between them and the residents are at a low ebb.

“The is the largest single new-home development in the UK. The residents were sold the concept of an estate managed by Bournville Village Trust, which would ensure the estate is maintained to a high standard, with high quality design and maintenance.

“Instead, we have lived for over a decade on a building site, and left in a legal limbo, with no-one taking responsibility for the mess.

Disrepair

"The developers have failed to maintain the infrastructure, failed to hand over roads and common areas to the stewards of the estate, and almost none of the estate has been adopted by Telford & Wrekin Council.

“Residents have been forced to live on an estate in disrepair, with poorly maintained and unfinished roads, broken lamps and signage, blocked drains and flooding and common areas left to grow wild to name just a few problems.

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Barriers around damage on the estate

"The council denies responsibility, as it has not adopted the roads.

“Whilst the developers continue to sell houses to residents, existing residents are forced to continue to pay the £250 per year premium for stewardship.

“Families who were promised a beautiful estate, managed and cared for, as a safe place to raise their children are left living on a building site with broken infrastructure and lacking facilities where complaints are ignored.”

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Nails, leaks and absent gates

Fellow resident Ross Roberts said: “Our under sink was leaking. We have since had the plumber out a further three times due to our kitchen completely flooding. Our French doors are completely scratched, with hinges falling off and the seals broken.

“A nail was so far through our stair case it could have seriously done some damage. There was no gate attached to our garden.

Cones on the pavement

"This was definitely not discussed as I would never have bought a garden with no gate onto a main road.

"There is not one day that goes by where I do not regret buying my first home through Persimmon. I believe the company has failed to meet its customer promises.”

Protest

The association has had support from Telford’s MP Lucy Allan, and members plan to protest at sales offices in Lawley Village in an effort to make potential residents aware.

Ms Allan said: “Many residents in Lawley and Lightmoor have been experiencing a range of problems around non completion of communal areas and snagging works to properties.

“I have raised this issue in Parliament over the past few years with the former housing minister, Sajid Javid MP.

"I also held a residents meeting last year with representatives from Bournville Trust, the council and the developers and I have continued to meet with developers and residents to work to resolve this issue.

"Responses from my Lawley survey last year also showed a high level of dissatisfaction.

"The problems are common in new build areas across the country.

"I am keen to see freeholder’s rights better protected and a New Homes Ombudsman would be a welcome step forward.”

A spokesman for Persimmon said: “We are committed to the provision of high quality new homes and customer service at Lawley Village.

"Our customer care team is in frequent contact with Mr Roberts and we are working hard to complete the outstanding works on his property.”

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith
Reporter

Reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.

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