Wain Homes, Redrow, Persimmon – more local horror stories

One home selling for £50,000 less than bought for after 10 months to escape it (Wain Homes, South Molton); one family moved out for 3 weeks at their own expense as the house was unliveable in (Redrow, Exeter) and one home allegedly still has 120 problems 5 years after moving in (Persimmon, Exeter).


Wainhomes in the (bad) spotlight again

Many will recall Feniton’s problems with Wainhomes, for example:

and those in Axminster:

You might also have seen the feature on regional BBC Breakfast this morning where residents at the Wainhomes estate in Tawton having to move out because floors not finished, outside rendering falling off walls. They interviewed one unhappy house owner who’d been complaining for two-and-a-half years.

Interestingly enough there’s a website devoted to complaints about this company: https://www.thewainhomesnightmare.co.uk/?page_id=121

It seems to highlight a flaw whereby developers can build defective houses, but policing by NHBC not up to scratch.

Buyer beware, as they say!

Cranbrook estate rent charges 2

(See post below also)

From a correspondent:

Wain Homes (55 properties) and Cavanna Homes (19 properties) have their own Estate Rent Charge which will remain in place but they will pay the higher CTC precept

The Town Council had indicated a willingness in principle to take on the public open space on both sites. Wain Homes remain subject to enforcement because of failure to complete the public open space and we met with them in the summer of 2017 to discuss this.

If they complete the work CTC could adopt the public open space. Hopefully local residents on the site will press Wain Homes to do this.

Cavanna have passed their public open space to a management company but undertook to have talks to have the public open space transferred back so that CTC could adopt it. In both cases the ball is in the developers’ court.”

And now Persimmon in trouble for not honouring S106 obligations

Interesting how Plymouth City Council slams an enforcement notice on a developer within a month whereas EDDC asks Wainhomes really, really nicely if the developer could see its way to possibly doing what it was contracted to do in Axminster!

” … the work was scheduled to be completed by Friday August 26, ahead of the new school term, adding: “This will be a huge relief to people living on the estate, especially those with children who have to cross this very busy road every day to get to and from school”.

However, four weeks after the start date and Persimmon Homes had failed to begin any work on the crossing, prompting the threat of legal action by council bosses.

Earlier this week, as still no work had begun, Plymouth City Council announced it had issued a “breach of condition planning enforcement notice requiring developer Persimmon to install a toucan crossing on Billacombe Road by the start of the new school term.”

The council said it reminded the multi-million pound company of its obligations as per the planning agreement, noting how the first homes began being occupied last year.

However, dismissing the threat Persimmon has now blamed Plymouth City Council for the delay, claiming planners had not sat down with the firm for a meeting. In addition, it accuses the council of turning down a plan to create a new access point to the large development.”


So basically, Persimmon blames the council because it wanted a crossing in a different place – presumably one that didn’t have planning permission and was better for the site rather than the school!

Wainhomes Axminster: EDDC considers legal action to recover

Serious problems in Axminster, according to this week’s View from Axminster:


where the newspaper reveals that EDDC is considering taking legal action to recover more than £650,000 from Wainhomes, developer at Millbrook Meadows off Chard Road. The money is due under a Section 106 agreement to cover infrastructure, new school places, sports facilities, play areas, sewerage network and public art. In addition there are safety concerns about fencing and subsidence.

In an editorial on page 3 of the newspaper it is also noted that there are serious concerns about the quality of new housing in Axminster and an anecdotal story of a house under construction having been pulled down overnight.

Wainhomes have been at the centre of a number of controversies, not least in nearby Feniton, where required flood defences were not constructed and planning conditions not met when a new housing estate was built in the village and where the company attempted to build many more houses than those originally sought.

Yet another headache for the new Axminster Regeneration Board, headed by Councillor Moulding.

Wainhomes, Feniton: another second chance, and another and another …

Where and when do ” second chances” end? From a correspondent:

You may recall the following item published some time ago:


Today the time allowed for some of the work to be done expires and yet, as expected by many of the villagers, nothing has even been started. The question is: will EDDC planning now actually throw the legal book at Wainhomes or, as I suspect, give them yet more time.

A heavy hand surely is now required since being ‘nice’ clearly doesn’t work.”

EDDC, heavy hand, developers – dream on!

Wainhomes Feniton: yet another breach of planning conditions

” … This time, they have failed to landscape the green open spaces (which they were obliged to do in the first planting season after building had commenced), they have failed to install adequate swales (i.e. channels) to capture and contain surface water run-off and they have failed to provide the trees on site and the hedgebanks at the site entrance.

It is all so unnecessary and so time-consuming and has cost the public purse a considerable sum of money. It has also left Feniton Parish Council having to pick up the tab when the nearby play area has to be cleaned up as result of run-off from the site.

The decision to serve the Breach of Condition Notice was not taken lightly by the planners and Legal Department of EDDC. Planning officers worked tirelessly to try and avoid this expensive legal route, despite calls from residents of Feniton who wanted enforcement action to be taken some time ago. After lengthy negotiations which were ultimately fruitless, officers have finally lost patience.

The Breach of Condition Notice effectively informs Wainhomes that works have to be undertaken according to Wainhomes’ own landscaping plan by the end of May, and that trees must be planted (again according to their own landscaping plan) during the last three months of this year.

Parts of the Breach of Condition Notice calls for the swales to be remodelled to conform to Wainhomes’ own design which was approved as part of their own Flood Risk Assessment. Instead, Wainhomes has installed a series of ditches which is discharging water onto the Parish Council’s play area. This area has been severely flooded twice already this year, leaving the play surface saturated with silty water and forcing the Parish Council to remove the swings for fear of accidents.

Never has a development been so distorted by a developer keen to screw every last ounce of profit out of a site. However, East Devon District Council has now put a marker in the sand clearly stating that they expect every last condition to be adhered to.”


Heart-rending pictures and experiences of flooding in Feniton – again

And tonight it is raining heavily again so the village is anticipating worse conditions. Will Wainhomes do the decent thing and sort this problem out. Don’t hold your breath.

…”Water poured off the field beside Feniton’s latest development where swales (ditches) take surface water around the site, round the attenuation tank and then direct it straight through the Parish Council-owned play area. The swings had already been removed from a previous bout of heavy rain, when the ground under the swings was silted up with slimy sand from the surface water run-off.

The flood risk assessment submitted by Wainhomes and approved by the Environment Agency and Devon County Council seems to be woefully inadequate for dealing with surface water run-off from this high point of the village. Both the plan and the scheme put in place by Wainhomes need to be carefully scrutinised to ensure that what was planned and approved has actually been put in place.

And so it continued … sandy water poured under the allotment gates down Coventry Close and several of us spent some time trying to direct the flow to different drain holes so that they were not overwhelmed.

It’s boring, tedious, cold, dispiriting work … And we seem to spend far too much of our time worrying about what the weather will inflict on us next.

It’s probably a good time to thank the many flood wardens and other residents who give so selflessly of their time.

A particular thank you has to go to the kind resident of Exeter Close who came out with tea and biscuits for Danny and Jayne who stayed on Station Road until it was safe to re-open the road. …”


Dyed water shows developer responsible for flooding

A developer has admitted a pond on its housing estate has contributed to flooding of nearby properties’ gardens.
Residents of Acacia Close in Bideford, Devon, have complained about the flooding since the College Park estate was built two years ago.

Tests by the local authority using dyed water have now traced the floodwater to a pond on the estate. Redrow Homes has apologised and said it would remedy the problem “as soon as possible”.

The College Park estate has a drainage pond from which water flows into the road. But after the estate was built, residents living near the pond noticed their gardens were being flooded.

A dye test by Torridge District Council carried out 12 months ago was inconclusive, but the council did another test after complaints continued.

Reuben Cooke, technical manager of Redrow Homes in the West Country, said the firm was “very sorry” about the flooding.

“The drainage system we implemented was approved by the Environment Agency and Devon County Council and we believed was appropriate for the development,” he said. “We are now in discussion with Devon County Council to change the design of the drainage system to alleviate the flooding affecting the gardens at Acacia Close.”

Terry Williams, 75, who lives with wife Olwyn, 71, in Acacia Close, said they feared the flooding could come into their home. “The stress has been unbelievable because no-one would accept it was their problem,” he said. “We are both retired and we don’t deserve this sort of aggro.”

Torridge District Council said in a statement: “Provisional plans have already been drawn up so we are hopeful that the matter can progress quickly.”


Wainhomes – children are affected by their run-off in Feniton

From a correspondent:

“You may be interested to know that as a result of the flood water that has run off the Wainhomes site and deposited silt on the children’s play area, this area is now out of bounds to the children and swings have had to be removed to prevent an accident.

This is the third time it has happened. Feniton Parish Council have paid for the clean up twice in the past but are reluctant to spend money cleaning up Wainhomes mess.”

Wainhomes hit the headlines yet again: and not in a good way

Wainhomes certainly seems to know how to upset people, including the police, yet it just seems to be water off the duck’s back (or perhaps water anywhere but the right place!).

1 November 2015: Police in St Austell object to WAunhomes building houses on grounds that “the design of the development may encourage antisocial and criminal behaviour”:


2 January 2016: Wainhomes being investigated by West Devon Borough Council for possible breach of Section 106 conditions, something the residents of Feniton will find familiar:


You think Feniton is the only place where Wainhomes mucked up surface water drainage? Think again!

“Following heavy rain in November and December, local residents living at Hurst Meadows and Craiglands are in despair due to “dark brown” flood water that has been flowing towards their properties from a Broad Lane development.

At the beginning of November, it is understood that residents of Craiglands advised Rochdale Council that an attenuation pond at the top of Hurst Meadows was almost “full to the brim” and that that outflow pipe had “disappeared under the water and foliage that had not been removed”.

A resident reported to the council that surface water from the Wain Homes side of the development was “pouring onto the footpath and grass” around the attenuation pond and added that “the water was dark brown in colour” and that “so much of it had flowed into the pond that its contents were also dark brown.”

Neil Longsden from the Broad Lane Action Group (BLAG) said: “Rochdale Council has responded to the affected outflow pipe (which is owned by United Utilities) that had become defective and it was hoped the situation would be resolved quite quickly. Our member advised the council that when she walked over the land at 11am on Monday 16 November, the pipe was visible and the dark brown surface water only appeared between 11am and 12 noon that day. We question what is the ‘brown water’? Is it a danger to local residents and families? Where is it coming from? How will it be rectified?

“We do not hold our breath for an answer because we have been waiting almost 12 months for Rochdale Council to appoint an expert to identify the source of the water which has plagued Craiglands residents for 25 years and continues to do so. Councillor Kath Nickson requested this report at the beginning of 2015 and confirmed funds were available – the council say they cannot find an expert to carry out this research into an issue which has caused so much distress over the years.”

Plans to build a housing development on the site were approved by councillors in April 2014.


Mr Longsden added: “When BLAG was objecting to the then proposed developments one of the issues raised was the extremely wet conditions of Spring Hill (the area going to be developed). During the Planning Inspector’s hearing Taylor Wimpey and Wain Homes both agreed to install attenuation tanks that would retain almost all surface water and then slowly release it into the attenuation pond at Hurst Meadows before being again released into the culvert which runs towards Oldham Road.

“Towards the end of November 2015 Rochdale started to experience continuous rainfall and the pond soon reached critical levels. The open space at the top of Hurst Meadows was flooded and covered in silt and other concoctions, as were the public footpaths running through the area which are used by local residents extensively on a daily basis.”

It is understood that Wain Homes have commenced groundworks to clear up the silt and other debris and is working to reinstate the land to its former ‘grassed terrain’. They also plan to install an attenuation tank, which should help to control the previously rapid flow of water.

Taylor Wimpey are said to be installing their attenuation tank and other control devices in the next couple of weeks, with their part of the engineering to control the surface water on schedule.

Rochdale Council did not respond to our request for comment.”


Wainhomes: not Tavistock’s favourite developer

” WEST Devon Borough Council is investigating a possible breach in the Section 106 agreement of a planning application for the development of 61 homes in North Tawton.

The investigation relates to a marketing strategy.

Developers Wain-homes Ltd, first submitted a controversial planning application back in October 2013, for the construction of a new housing estate at Batheway Fields, west of High Street, in North Tawton.
Despite public concern, NTTC (North Tawton Town Council) supported the application because of a medical centre and industrial area (employment land) that were included in the plans.

The developers had also obtained planning permission for roads, footways, parking, landscaping, drainage, open space and allotments.

Wainhomes has since submitted a new application for 28 more residential dwellings at the site with associated footways, parking, landscaping and drainage. The plans no longer show employment land and the allotments have been relocated.

Recently West Devon Borough Council has been made aware of a possible breach of terms set in the Section 106 agreement for the initial application of 61 homes.

The Section 106 agreement outlines a detailed timetable of the dates that West Devon Borough Council has set for the completion of particular written documentation or payments.

The fifth schedule is that the developer should submit marketing strategy to the council for written approval prior to the occupation of the first dwelling and subsequently to marketing the employment land and medical centre site in accordance with those strategies for a period of five years unless planning permission is granted for an alternative use.

One local resident told the Times that she believed that the first house on the site was occupied two weeks ago and that West Devon Borough Council had not received the marketing strategy.

A spokesperson for the borough council said: ‘We’ve been made aware of a possible breach in the Section 106 agreement concerning the planning application for 61 homes at Batheway Fields, North Tawton.

‘We’re committed to ensuring that Section 106 agreements are complied with across the borough and planning enforcement are currently investigating, and as such, we are not in a position to provide any more information at this point in the process.’

In submitting the new application for 28 extra dwellings the developer has proposed the relocation of the allotments to outside the site area and it no longer shows the employment land.

However, Matthew Loughrey-Robinson, land manager at Wainhomes previously said to the Times: ‘The bigger picture is that employment could be provided in an alternative location in North Tawton which could be considered as part of another connected wider application for the area.’

Wainhomes has not responded to the Times’ request for a comment.


Feniton: a tale of two flood relief systems where Wainhomes comes bottom

Feniton’s Independent Councillor Susie Bond report on Feniton’s most recent flooding challenges shows there were mixed results. Those of the Environment Agency’s Phase 1 works appear to be doing their job – but those of the controversial Wainhomes development are a very different story.

It is worth going to Councillor Bond’s web page (link below) to see the photographs.

EDDC’s negligent attitude to this problem must surely be a case for the Ombudsman.

“… Less successful was the works carried out by Wainhomes on the Winchester Park site.

Surface water poured around the attenuation tanks, straight into the Parish Council play area. The special surface under the swings is now full of silt and will have to be cleaned again (I’ve lost track of how many times this has had to be done and at what cost to the public purse). From there, it flooded the allotments (again) and poured under the gates into the drains. With a night of rain ahead, the flood wardens were out in force to slow the rate of flow such that the drains would be able to cope.

It was cold, miserable work.

The frustrating thing is that this is still happening at all, even after Wainhomes has built the 50 houses they were allowed. As is well known, Wainhomes failed initially to install attenuation tanks to help mitigate surface water run-off from their site. Another measure was for them to install swales – a system of ditches between the estate and the adjoining agricultural fields – to help store surface water.

When flood wardens and I looked at the swales over New Year to see how well they were coping, to our amazement they were virtually empty.

Were the swales built according to the specifications drawn up by Wainhomes’ consultants? Or is the design of the surface water drainage system substandard, as Feniton Parish Council suspects?

Either way we were amazed to see that the new bank between Station Road and the open space vacated by the temporary site office has been deliberately breached.


This irresponsible action has resulted in water being allowed to pour from the site down Station Road towards houses which have a long history of flooding.”


The perils of a developer-led district: EDDC v Wainhomes in Feniton

Full details of Wainhomes total arrogance here:


EDDC’s last paragraph in their letter to Wainhomes states:

“Both myself and colleagues have in recent weeks offered to meet with representatives from Wainhomes either in the offices here or on site and I am disappointed that none of these offers have been taken up. In an attempt to resolve this situation I can confirm that those offers still remain and I would strongly encourage an early dialogue in respect of the matters identified.”

You see, that’s what happens when you have a developer-led district.

Wainhomes at it again … and again … and again

EDW ran a story earlier in the year entitled – Wainhomes at it again – and indeed they are at it YET again, this time in North Devon – in Westward Ho!


Update at http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/Fury-residents-feel-let-132-homes-development/story-26200403-detail/story.html

Residents still feel that planning restrictions being ignored, incl foul drainage system plans supposed to be submitted before work starts. It all sounds VERY familiar to Feniton residents – indeed if you just changed the location and name it would be pretty much the same.

Torridge is where our old Chief Planner Kate Little rules the roost – so even THAT’S familiar!

Housing ‘crisis’ based on shaky foundations?

Simon Jenkins believes so. For those who missed it first time round, here’s his evidence…http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9452952/the-myth-of-the-housing-crisis/