A Longridge father has spoken of his dismay after moving into a £300,000 home in the town, only months later to discover his garden was sinking and holes appearing.
Adam Wright, 32, together with his partner and their young daughter, moved from Lancaster to a new, four-bedroomed detached house on Meadow Close within the Cromwell Fields estate off Dilworth Lane, at the end of 2014.
Built by Rowland Homes, with gardens at front and back, the couple, who went onto have another daughter, were looking forward to spending time in their back garden, the children playing.
“We were quite looking forward to it and it was all great until in the summer of 2015 when the back garden started sinking and a couple of large holes appeared, about a foot deep and four inches in diameter,” said Adam.
He says the garden sank about nine inches, then a five inch gap appeared under the fence at the back and it was like the garden was slipping underneath the fence.
“It was also waterlogging in periods of rain, also in the front as well,” said Adam.
The back garden became completely inaccessible.
He said: “I contacted the builder Rowland Homes and they sent a surveyor out, a contract manager and he had a look and he didn’t agree although there were holes and you could clearly see it (the garden) had dropped nine inches, and he said out of goodwill they would do something about it.”
But Adam says they refused to do any sort of drainage and re-turfed part of the front lawn and the whole of the back.
But it didn’t work, says Adam, because there was no drainage.
“It turned into an absolute quagmire and it was horrendous. Every time you walked on it you sank about nine inches,” he said.
Again, Adam was in contact with Rowland Homes, which, he says, went on “back and forth” for a further 12 months. He also contacted the National House Building Council who, he says, agreed the gardens needed drainage, but didn’t put it in writing.
“Rowland Homes, in all this time, would not do anything,” said Adam, saying they claimed it was his fault because he hadn’t done any maintenance on the lawn after it had been laid.
“I did explain to them that you cannot do any maintenance because it was like walking on a water bed,” he said.
Adam says a customer services manager then took over and eventually Rowland Homes agreed to put in some drainage, but only within three metres of the house at the front and back, and to re-turf.
This work was due to be eventually completed this week, but Adam is still not happy and is convinced the back garden needs more drainage.
He said: “This house cost £300,000 and when you buy a home for that price you don’t then expect to pay for further extensive works.”
Adam says Rowland Homes wanted him to pay for the work, but he has “pushed and pushed” for them to do it and says they should have done something sooner, as the garden has been unusable for two years.
“I think it is absolutely appalling,” he said, adding that he has never received an apology.
Rowland Homes was unable to comment.