Residents want action over 'leaking homes' in Overton

RESIDENTS on a new development in Overton are pressing for action because their homes are being blighted by water leaking into them.

More than 30 households on the Foxdown estate, built by David Wilson Homes (DWH) five years ago, have reported leaking through the roofs and conservatories.

The matter was raised by some residents around four years ago, but it has still not been resolved.

A residents’ association has now been formed to put pressure on the developer to sort the problem out.

Last week, Foxdown resident James Finn invited The Gazette to a meeting with David McClintock, contracts manager for DWH.

Mr Finn, who lives with his wife and five-month-old son, has suffered leaking through his solar panels and conservatory.

The 38-year-old, who believes the panels have not been installed at the correct angle, said: “These houses will fall down.”

Mr Finn bought his home in September 2010. He said: “The problems didn’t manifest themselves until this year when we decided to redecorate.”

He noticed damp patches and realised there was water leaking from the roof. He now has to keep the upstairs windows open constantly to air the rooms.

Mr Finn questioned Mr McClintock as to why DWH refused to discuss the problems with residents as a group, and suggested that some may not yet know their properties have a problem.

Mr McClintock, who did not want to discuss the matter in detail with The Gazette present, responded: “I was very clear that I would deal with each home owner on their own because every resident’s situation is different.”

Laurie Doyle, interim chair of the residents association, disagreed, and told Mr McClintock: “The problem is perhaps greater than you thought.

“Don’t you think it might be better to become proactive in this and, instead of waiting for people to come to you when they have water pouring into their home, don’t you think it would be morally right to visit each home and be proactive about it? You know the potential for problems exists.”

Mr McClintock said that Sovereign Housing Association, which owns some of the properties, had only recently reported the problems to DWH.

But Overton borough councillor Ian Tilbury claimed Sovereign had advised DWH of the problem of leaking panels over two years ago.

He described the situation as “shocking”, and added: “The in-roof water heating solar panels used are unsuitable for use on the low-pitch roofs.”

Annika Jones has lived in her Sover-eign-owned property for five years. The mother-of-two first reported problems with leaking in 2010, and added: “Water is coming through my light fitting in the bathroom.”

She said Sovereign disconnected the electricity upstairs on February 17, but had not yet been back to sort it out.

Cllr Tilbury said: “No attempt has been made to weather-proof any of the properties to prevent rainwater pouring through the ceilings. This is totally unacceptable.”

Paul Crispin, managing director of DWH Southern, said the company is aware of issues with water ingress at a number of Foxdown homes, which he said was “highlighted by the recent storms”.

He said DWH staff have met with property owners and have agreed to carry out remedial works over the coming weeks, and tests have been conducted to understand the technical details, which he said can be “properly addressed.”

Roy Probert, public relations manager for Sovereign, said the housing association had been aware of the problems for over a year, and had been in discussion with DWH to establish the cause and work out a long-term solution.

He said in the last few days they had reached an agreement for DWH to carry out permanent repairs in the coming weeks. He added: “Sovereign has undertaken repairs to try to minimise the amount of water entering the properties.”

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