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Leaning chimneys in Marnel Park must be rebuilt
SCORES of chimneys on a new housing estate in Basingstoke are being rebuilt because they have started to lean to one side.
Workmen from David Wilson Homes are repairing 90 ornamental chimneys in Marnel Park, Popley, where it built 600 homes only six years ago. More homes are to be inspected to see if they need repairs, with the final figure uncertain.
The developer described the problems as a “technical defect” and said that the repair work “will ensure the decorative chimney on these properties aligns with the projection of the roof”.
John Fellows, of Barrington Drive, first knew about the work when builders set up scaffolding around his mid-terrace house.
The 51-year-old said: “I was about to go to bed during the day, because I work nights, when I heard the bang of scaffolding so I went to speak to the builders.
“They said they were here to inspect my chimney and that was the only notice I got.
“We are happy they are doing something, because it was unnerving to see all these chimneys coming down and being rebuilt. But we would have liked to have known a bit more from them. They do not tell you what they are doing.”
But Diana Levy, of Appleton Drive, said she had been told her chimney on her four-bedroom house will not be repaired, despite its visible lean.
The 49-year-old said: “We have got two kids in that part of the house. If it falls through it will come straight through to where they are sleeping. I'm frustrated and angry.”
Popley West borough councillor Jane Frankum said she had received emails from Marnel Park residents concerned about the work and the lack of information.
Katherine Liggatt, regional public relations officer for David Wilson Homes, told The Gazette that 90 homes are having chimneys repaired with more to be inspected. She said: “We are taking a precautionary measure to inspect a potential technical defect to a number of non-functional chimneys at our development in the Marnel Park area of Basingstoke.
“All residents affected have been notified of the inspection and should any work need to be carried out, the necessary arrangements will be made in order to minimise any disruption caused during the process.”