A HEARTBROKEN family has spoken of their devastation after completing the purchase of their dream brand new property only to find it riddled with problems.
Andy Bell and his wife Victoria say that when they picked up the keys to their coach house on the Persimmon development at Picket Twenty, their delight quickly turned into a nightmare when they saw the state of the £190,000 property.
With thousands of properties being built on developments across Andover, it has sparked wider fears about the quality of the new wave of homes in the town.
Mr Bell describes being greeted with a pile of rubbish on the doorstep and rubble in the garage before going into the property to find a plethora of unfinished work.
He said: “My wife was in tears, for a new property it just looked like a second hand repair job, it looked like it had been thrown together.”
The worst of the unfinished jobs include a bowing wall in the master bedroom, holes in the kitchen wall by the boiler, a wrongly angled window and a “missing” wall to form a bin shed in the garage.
The remainder of the unfinished work includes lack of sealant in the kitchen and bathroom, dents in the wall, unfinished paint work, uneven sockets, doors and floorings and damaged kitchen surfaces, after they paid extra for that kitchen.
The couple and their four-year-old daughter Sophia have been battling mould in their current flat and the move was supposed to be a new start for the family.
The 28-year-old said: “This was going to be the start of a more straightforward life. It was going to be a dream home, our ideal retreat on the edge of Andover but it went from paradise island to desert island.”
Mr Bell, who picked the keys up on June 29, says he contacted the site manager who said the work would be completed by the end of that week, but the matter was then passed to the customer care team.
The family say they have now been left in limbo, surrounded by boxes and having to move out of their current rented flat by the weekend.
They have lost money they paid for van hire and Mr Bell has wasted holidays off work as well as having to ask for an extension for assignments on his Open University design engineering course. Talking about their frustration, the fabricator added: “We’re living out of boxes and have been left in the dark.”
The Advertiser has been told of other families in Andover also experiencing problems with new builds, with some said to have received compensation for their plight.
Matt Paine, managing director of Charles Church South Coast, a subsidiary of Persimmon, said: “Our experienced site manager put the family in touch with our customer care team as soon as it was identified there were some issues.
“The team quickly instructed the relevant electrical and plumbing operatives who undertook priority remedial works on the property last Thursday and Friday, with a view to enabling the family to fully move in as soon as possible. We take every care to ensure that our homes are delivered on time, but occasionally some final technical issues mean that deadlines are overrun, for which we apologise.”