Dream homes turn into nightmare for Galgate residents

Residents at a new housing development in Galgate say their dream homes have turned into a nightmare.

Thursday, 6th September 2018, 9:00 am
Updated Friday, 7th September 2018, 10:56 am
The unfinished road at The Silks in Galgate.

The Silks development – which has 65 two, three and four bedroom properties – was completed earlier this year and developers Story Homes and their contractors moved off site, yet new homeowners say there are still many issues left unresolved and parts of the site uncompleted.

Jo Wilkinson said she and husband Darren moved into their £315,000 four-bedroom home in March 2017 with their young son, and have since experienced numerous problems.

One of the major problems for residents is the unfinished roads, which have been left uneven and with raised manhole covers, along with unfinished pavements and curbs.

The unfinished road at The Silks in Galgate.

“The roads and pavements are in a really bad condition,” Jo, 31, said. “There are a lot of families on here who are struggling with pushchairs.

“The development is completely finished and Story Homes have moved off site, yet everyone has snagging problems and just can’t get them sorted out. The customer service is a disgrace.”

Other issues include many street lights not working, an unfinished play area which residents feel is unsafe to use, and drainage problems.

Jo and Darren have been also trying to get an issue with a leak in their garden fixed for the last year.

The unfinished road at The Silks in Galgate.

“Last winter the steps iced over because water was coming up through the stones and it was really dangerous,” Jo said. “We will soon be heading into a second winter and it still hasn’t been fixed.

“If I am buying a new build I expect a bit of time when it’s like a building site but they have moved off site and it’s still not finished.

“It’s very frustrating. All the little things add up.”

Neighbour David Stephenson said he and his family had experienced up to 100 snags on their four-bed home.

Jo Wilkinson's damaged garden steps caused by drainage problems at The Silks in Galgate.

“The roads were supposed to be block paved but I think they just want to tarmac them as it’s cheaper,” he said. “We were told they would be done by March but it’s just lies after lies.

“We pushed to get the play park finished but it’s not safe; we have a little boy but we don’t take him down there.

“You need a torch just to walk the dog because none of the lights are working.

“The main issues is that they just upped and left and no one knows what’s going on.

“This has completely put us off ever buying a new build house again.”

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said he and his wife had experienced around 200 issues since moving in two years ago.

“It was to be our dream home but became our nightmare from hell,” he said. “We had perhaps on moving in 85 faults or snags; this has increased now to around 200!

“We have issues with the plans we have in our possession not matching what is in fact built. We have had to endure blocked drains on five or six occasions with foul water backing up in the bath and showers.

“The site itself is disgusting. Roads are not adopted and there is no street lighting further round on the site, particularly as there are young families and dark nights are creeping in. Exposed high kerbs and substandard paths and pavements are also the norm.

“The effects on our mental health have been significant. Moving house is bad enough but to endure what we have had has caused sleepless nights, endless arguments, many tears and stress that has affected work for both of us.”

A Story Homes spokesman said: “We are committed to finishing off the site at The Silks. We are working with Lancashire County Council highways department to finalise details of the permeable paving arrangement at this site. Once this has been agreed, our contractor will commence final road and pavement works.

“There are three lighting columns without lantern heads located across the site. Our contractor attended last week to install them and we anticipate this work will be completed in the next two weeks. The children’s play area is complete and railings are being installed surrounding this area.

“We appreciate how frustrating this can be for our residents and we are working with Lancashire County Council to commence works as soon as possible. We apologise for any disruption that this is causing.”

The spokesman said they were unable to comment on individual issues in residents’ homes.