New Felpham homeowners angry over catalogue of issues

Residents Peter Coombs and Mark Beckett
Residents Peter Coombs and Mark Beckett

A Felpham resident has said his garden being ‘like the Somme’ is just one of a catalogue of issues with his new Barratt Homes property.

Garden flooding, ‘bodged’ doors, carbon monoxide detectors not working and light fixtures falling from the ceiling are just some of the problems Peter Coombs states he has reported since moving into the St Mary’s Place property, off the relief road to Flansham, in August of last year.

His neighbours in Bulbeck Way, Karen Carter and Mark Beckett, echoed similar concerns and added more to the list, including a lack of insulation and gardens dug up for drainage work.

When asked for comment, Tim Hill, Barratt Homes’ managing director, said: “As a five star housebuilder, customer satisfaction is at the heart of what we do and we are committed to working closely with purchasers.

“We can confirm we are in regular contact with Mr Coombes at Felpham to resolve any outstanding issues.”

Mr Hill added that a ‘garden solution has been rejected by the purchaser’, something Mr Coombs, an engineer by trade, said was because the proposed soak-away wouldn’t work as ‘the water would have nowhere to soak away to’.

As a result, Mr Hill said the ‘disagreement’ will now be passed to the National House Building Council (NHBC) ‘to determine if any remedial works need to be carried out’.

He added: “As far as we are aware there are no outstanding issues regarding Ms Carter’s home and one minor issue with a gate bolt on Mr Beckett’s property.”

Test holes dug in Mr Coombs’ garden show water just a few inches from the surface, work which, coupled with the row of five terrace houses being constructed with just one down pipe, has heightened concerns.

Mr Coombs’ wife, Sue, said: “They dug all the test holes to find out where the pipe went but they didn’t find a pipe, they found more water. They said we’ve had a lot of rain but it has been the least rain this winter for 20-odd years – if it rains for 20 minutes it floods here. We’ve had big puddles of dark slimey water and all of our pets have been ill. This all used to be farm land so it could be pesticides or all sorts coming up.”

Mr Coombs added: “We are being fobbed off. They [Barratt Homes] are concrete jockies.”