Page last updated at 17:49 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

Estate houses plagued by faults

Greg Mowatt's home
Greg Mowatt paid 180,000 for his home on Kemsley Fields

Residents on a new housing estate in Kent say their lives have been blighted by a catalogue of poor workmanship and botched repairs.

The Bryant Homes Kemsley Fields estate, near Sittingbourne, has suffered from damp, cracks and subsidence.

"There are some major problems on this development. It's one of the worst I have seen for a few years," said building expert Stephen Nancarrow.

Builder Taylor Wimpey said it was working to solve outstanding problems.

The estate, built within the past five years, has about 250 homes.

Greg Mowatt, who bought his three-bedroom house in April for 180,000, said he had owned six new-build properties.

"This is the pits - this is the worst that I have ever had the opportunity of living in," he said.

Subsidence and damp

Among the problems were banisters not bolted to the wall, a cracked balustrade, a toilet not properly bolted to the floor and a bedroom window which swings open with nothing to prevent children falling out.

Mr Nancarrow, who inspects building work to resolve disputes, said: "They have moved some people out already because of subsidence and damp.

"There is no excuse for this, they could have rectified this months and months ago."

Taylor Wimpey said a recent survey showed nearly 90% of customers would recommend one of its homes to a friend or family.

"We've been made aware of customer concerns on this site, many of which have now been resolved and we are working to resolve outstanding items as quickly as possible," it said in a statement.

"If our homeowners have further concerns we would invite them to contact our customer care team so we can ensure they are concluded."

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