Corby’s new-build nightmare: “I felt really proud but I’ve got nothing to show for it”

A Corby man who was full of pride after buying his first home says dozens of issues have left him with nothing to show for it.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 10:30 am

Ryan Reeves grew up on the Beanfield estate in Corby. He bought his terraced house in Merlin Road for £215,000 in November 2018 under the government’s Help to Buy scheme. Ryan wanted a new-build house so he didn’t have to spend every weekend doing DIY.

He said: “With a new build I thought you don’t need to worry about things going wrong.

“I had a little walk around before I moved in and I’m not in the building trade but it was still being finished so I didn’t really get a chance to look at exactly what needed doing.”

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Ryan Reeves with his periscope. The issue was resolved days after our photographer took this picture.

When he moved in there were multiple issues and then four days after he moved in, builders came and stuck what he described as a ‘periscope’ on the front of his house to give the combi-boiler outlet some clearance. The periscope issue was fixed days after a Northants Telegraph photographer took a picture of it.

Ryan has been left with dozens of snags that there is no sign of the contractors fixing. He’s been quoted between £3,000 and £4,000 to get a usable garden.

“I spent £215,000 on my first house and I felt really proud but now I feel I’ve got nothing to show for it,” he said.

A serviceman who lives on the estate, who we cannot name, doesn’t live full-time in Corby but his children do so he bought a house here so he could ensure he sees them regularly in a safe and homely environment.

Construction is continuing in Merlin Road.

He has 50 unresolved issues with his house.

He can’t use driveway as the edging between the kerb and the drive is too high and the bottom of cars gets stuck on it. It floods and the water goes straight into the garage as there’s no drain, rendering the garage unusable.

The garden is not turfed and is unusable.

The windows are all scratched from when they were installed. The TV wasn’t connected and didn’t work for three months. There was no WiFi.

“I only bought this so I could see my kids at the weekend,” he said.

“I just want it fixed. I’ve been phoning them for months but they don’t seem to be interested."

Neil Poole, who lives a few doors down from Ryan, rented in Merlin Road with a plan to buy a house on the estate with wife Claire and daughters Sophie and Elicia.

He moved in six months after his landlord bought it but estimates the house had about 50 faults.

The utility room had a gaping hole in the lino with cracked tiles and water coming through the walls.

The family went on holiday for two weeks and came back to water coming through the ceiling of one of his daughters’ bedrooms. But despite raising it urgently with Larkfleet it took the developer five days to even acknowledge it.

Neil said the house has so many problems they haven’t even unpacked in some rooms and that their desire to buy a home on the estate has vanished.

He said: "We really like the estate and we had a long-term plan to purchase a Larkfleet home.

"That plan has gone out of the window and now we're getting to the point where we are looking to move out.

"That's going to leave our landlord exposed because nobody will be able to move in to a house in that condition."

A Larkfleet Homes spokesman said they appreciated the frustration felt by those affected by the problems and that they would be carrying out a number of inspections to find out exactly how things went wrong so they could put them right.

The spokesman said: “We apologise unreservedly to those customers who have been affected, and would like to take the opportunity to thank them for their continued patience throughout this process.

“Any customers that need to get in touch with us relating to an outstanding issue, or would simply like an update, can contact [email protected] or the individual assigned to their case.”