Corby’s new-build nightmare: “It was meant to be perfect”
A couple were forced to live at Billing Aquadrome for months after their dream day of picking up the keys to their new Corby home was constantly delayed - only to find more than 100 faults as soon as they moved in.
Aimee Fogg and partner Adam Hindley moved to the town from north Wales and were told their brand new £259,000 Larkfleet townhouse in Kestrel Road would be ready by last September.
That date was pushed back and back, with accommodation provided at the leisure park more than 20 miles away, until they finally got to move in February.
But their joy soon turned to dismay after discovering 100 snags in the first week alone - and between 250 and 300 in total.
Aimee, who works at the primary school on the estate, said: "We were shown around the showrooms and we fell in love with the house. It was everything we wanted, we loved the layout and everything about it.
"But when we moved in it was filthy. There was dirt everywhere. We had to clean the whole house."
They had a gas leak one month in and a burst pipe on the top floor. A leaking shower caused mould, the balcony glass was not secure, the boiler was unsafe, the kitchen unit was damaged and carpets and vinyl were poorly fitted.
Aimee, 29, said: "We thought we were being picky but then we found so much more. It was meant to be perfect."
She estimated the cost of repairs to be at least £10,000 but said when she and Adam, 32, had raised a complaint with Larkfleet she had been ignored on multiple occasions.
The ordeal has left her close to tears.
She said: "It's meant to be our dream home that we would spend our lives in.
“I just want it to stop, I don't want to live in this house."
Stacey and Jordan Cuff bought their four-bed semi-detached home in nearby Merlin Road for £239,000 and moved in in September last year.
They said they had heard horror stories from other neighbours - but nothing had prepared them for the year of problems they have since faced.
A friend who works in the building trade completed a snag list for them and found at least 80 faults, of which 20 are still outstanding more than a year on.
They had a bubble in their ceiling, no heating for two weeks and a gas leak over Christmas, despite being told there wasn’t one.
Their front door has been changed three times and problems meant they were regularly locked out of their own house.
When it was finally fixed there was a one-inch gap around the outside, leaving them with maggots in the summer heat and draughts in the winter cold.
Stacey, 29, said: "This is meant to be our forever home, our family home.
"It was our big investment and we wanted it to be perfect.
"But we haven't been able to make it a home."
Problems left the couple with blocked toilets. They have taken days off work for appointments to fix their problems only for them to be cancelled at the last minute.
Gym manager Jordan, also 29, said: "It's absolutely shocking."
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.”