Bovis can’t build footpath on Axminster estate “because there are tree roots in the way”

Owl says: so who designed this then, knowing the problem? Amd which planner didn’t spot it?

“Residents on a new Axminster housing estate say the lack of a pavement outside their homes is putting lives at risk.

They say mums with pushchairs and wheelchair users are being forced to cross a busy road used not only by residents but also heavy construction traffic.

Brian and Barbara White claim plans for the Cloakham Lawns estate, off Chard Road, showed a pavement outside their home at Cloakham Drive.

But council officials say what they deemed to be a footpath was, in fact, only a ‘service margin’.

And they say building a permanent pavement there would harm the roots of a tree on the adjoining open green space.

Mrs White said the situation was ‘an absolute nightmare’, with pram and wheelchair users having to cross the road to the pavement on the other side and then cross back again further down the estate to return to the right side.

“Our road is busy with normal traffic plus heavy lorries, diggers, bulldozers and forklifts. Bovis Homes will be building here for years. There is plenty of room to continue the pavement all the way on this side of the road.”

Mr White added: “There is going to be an accident before long. People are putting their lives at risk.”

Bovis Homes has recently put down a temporary footpath outside the houses but says it cannot build a permanent pavement because of the nearby tree.

A spokesman told the Herald: “The tree is a hybrid lime, which is a category-A tree and is protected by a tree protection order (TPO) and also by a root protection area (RPA).

“RPAs are designed to protect the trees’ root systems and provide sufficient rooting environment to allow the trees to continue to thrive.

“The RPAs prohibit groundwork, construction, development or storage activity within the designated area. The highway proposals obviously had to take that into account.

“The temporary footpath is in place while there is construction work going on, and this hasn’t required the more robust foundation work that a permanent footpath would, which would adversely impact the RPA.”

https://www.midweekherald.co.uk/news/axminster-residents-say-mums-with-pushchairs-are-forced-to-cross-a-busy-road-1-6188464

Two big developers consider merge

“Two of the UK’s biggest housebuilders have kicked off secret talks about ‎a tie-up just two years after a previous set of merger discussions broke down.

Sky News has learnt that Bovis Homes Group has approached Galliford Try in the last few weeks about a combination of a large chunk of their operations.

If consummated, a ‎deal would represent a fresh catalyst for consolidation in Britain’s housebuilding sector.

Bovis has a market value of just over £1.3bn, while Galliford Try, which owns the Linden Homes housebuilding brand, is worth roughly £550m.

Both are among the ten largest housebuilders in the UK. …

A Bovis insider‎ cautioned that it was unlikely to be interested in Galliford Try’s troubled construction division, which was responsible for a recent profit warning from the group.”

https://news.sky.com/story/bovis-approaches-rival-galliford-try-about-housebuilding-merger-11728118

“‘Our new-build [Bovis] home has 354 defects’ “

“Two years after buying their £325,000 house from developers Bovis, Craig Wakeman and partner Tracey Bickford are still waiting to move in after discovering their dream home was riddled with 354 defects, many of them structural.

The couple told BBC Radio 5 Live Investigates buying the house was “one of the worst decisions we’ve ever made”.

Nine out of 10 new home buyers surveyed by the New Homes Review found defects in their houses.

Bovis apologised that the family’s “customer journey with us has been so disappointing over the last two years,” and said it was “completely focused on putting right what has gone wrong”. …

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46302905

Rats in Cranbrook: developer denies drains are source

Owl noticed a big spike in searches for “Bovis Homes Victims Group” Facebook page – mentioned in a link on this blog recently – now it knows why …

However, the group was forced to close as it feared legal risks due to the nature of some of the posts on its site:

https://bovishomesvictimsgroup.co.uk/

A BBC Devon website report says:

“Residents in a new housing development in Devon claim they are “living in hell” following a “rat infestation”.

People living in the homes think the rodents use the drainage system in Cranbrook to enter the properties.

Homeowners have told the BBC it has been “stressful” and it has cost them “thousands of pounds” to deal with the problem.

Many are calling on the developer, Bovis Homes, for compensation.

[Bovis replied]:

“We undertook camera surveys and other works and there was no evidence suggesting that the cause of the rat infestation was the result of the design or construction. A pre-construction ecological survey found no evidence of rats or other vermin being present on the ground prior to the property being occupied. No such issues were raised with them during the two-year customer warranty period, or in the 18 months that followed.”

Bovis Homes

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-45023099

“MP back plan for ombudsman to resolve new homes disputes”

“The government is under pressure to set up an independent ombudsman with the power to order housebuilders to pay out up to £50,000 or even reverse a sale, following reports of new-home buyers lumbered with defective properties.

A group of MPs and peers has called on the government to make it mandatory for housebuilders to belong to the proposed scheme, which would be free for consumers and offer a quick resolution to disputes. The scheme would be funded by a levy on housebuilders, with larger ones such as Berkeley Group, Persimmon, Barratt, Galliford Try, Redrow and Bovis Homes, paying more than small and medium-sized firms.

A report, Better Redress for Home Buyers, by the all-party parliamentary group for excellence in the built environment, highlights the confusing landscape buyers face when trying to resolve building defects, not helped by a plethora of warranties, housebuilding codes and complaints procedures.

It says the proposed ombudsman should be able to order payouts of up to £50,000 so buyers are not left out of pocket. Disputes over larger sums might have to be settled in court, but the report adds: “In certain extreme situations the new homes ombudsman should be able to reverse the sale.”

People have no idea that when they buy a new home directly from the developer, they have no access to redress.

The recommendations come after a scandal over the poor quality of new homes built by Bovis, while other housebuilders have also faced similar complaints.

A recent survey by the Home Builders Federation and the main warranty provider, NHBC, showed that 98% of new-home buyers reported snags or bigger defects to their housebuilder after moving in.

The parliamentarians have proposed a snagging app that would enable buyers to photograph defects and send them to the builder, monitor the progress of complaints and go to the ombudsman if needed.

Dominic Raab, the housing minister, said this week that the “vice-like grip” of the big developers must be broken to boost the building of affordable homes.

Lord Best, vice-chair of the all-party group, says: “Buying a new home is stressful enough, but buying a defective one, as we heard from witnesses, can take a toll on people’s wellbeing as they wrestle with a Kafkaesque system seemingly designed to be unhelpful.”

The proposed scheme would be modelled on the property ombudsman, to which all estate agents must belong. If they are struck off, they can no longer trade.

Katrine Sporle, the property ombudsman, says: “New homes should be covered by an ombudsman. People have no idea that when they buy a new home directly from the developer, they have no access to redress.”

The proposed scheme would cover the first two years following a house purchase when housebuilders are liable for defects, while subsequent problems would be down to the warranty providers.

The report says: “Affected homebuyers are exasperated not so much by the existence of defects but by a builder’s failure or even refusal to put them right. Submissions we received described how buying a new home had been ‘the worst decision of their life’; how it was like ‘going through hell’ as the complaint passed between housebuilders and warranty providers; and how fighting for redress was taking a toll on their health.”

The proposals have been presented to the ministry of housing, communities and local government as part of its consultation on a single housing ombudsman.”

http://flip.it/716e6t

New Facebook page: AvoidPersimmonHomes

A new Facebook page called “AvoidPersimmonHomes” has been overwhelmed with stories and pictures of homes which occupants are finding impossible to live in. At the time of writing it has 269 members.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/316825475386299/about/

This follows on from a similar page for Bovis homes which has 3,113 members
https://www.facebook.com/groups/BovisVictimsGroup/