Residents of a new Herefordshire housing estate say their properties aren’t up to scratch and claim this is because they were built as “affordable” rather than for market sale.

Robert Leyton and Alice Williams each moved in August last year into neighbouring newly-built terraced houses on Keats Meadow, part of Barratt Homes’ extensive Hawk Rise development southwest of Ledbury.

“There have been endless issues, but the biggest is the soundproofing, which is appalling,” according to Mr Leyton, a coach driver.

“From 4am you can hear the lorries along Leadon Way (the A449 which girds the town). I can even hear my neighbour’s cupboard doors closing.

“Yet a house I have been in round the corner, built for private sale, doesn’t have the same problem, it seems to have been built to a different spec.”

Parking spaces are another bone of contention, with the one in front of Mr Leyton’s house hard to access and frequently blocked by a neighbour, whose “official” parking space is some way away, he said.

Meanwhile the siting of bins “was not thought through” and is still the subject of ongoing negotiations between residents, Platform and Herefordshire Council.

“Platform’s housing officer agreed the layout is a mess, but couldn’t promise anything would be done,” Mr Leyton claimed.

Ms Williams, his other neighbour and lowest on the sloping terrace, has also had to cope with a flood-prone garden, which was “a mudslide” at one point, prompting her to build a retaining wall.

“It caused mould up the inside of the rear wall, which I was told would happen while the plaster dried,” the former home carer and mother of two, with a third on the way, said.

“The interior walls are plyboard, you can’t hang anything on them,” she added, and also maintained that the build quality of nearby market-sale properties appears to be higher.


The two also claim to have been hit with a “service charge” of over £300 with no clarity on what this is intended to cover.

They also say their frequent complaints to both the builder, which provides a year-long warranty on its properties, and their landlord, Platform Housing Group of Solihull, have largely gone unheeded.

“You call up and get a message saying they will respond in three days, which doesn’t happen,” Ms Williams said.

The two asked for help from local town councillor Tony Bradford, who said he was “struck by how hard (Platform) are to contact”, with emails also receiving only automated responses.

“They are one of the biggest housing managers in Ledbury but they closed their local office,” he said.

Platform’s chief operations officer Marion Duffy said: “We are sorry to hear about Mr Layton's concerns; we have already visited him in his home to discuss the issues.

“We have built a new path in order for him to access the bin area and we are investigating solutions to the parking concerns. With regards to the soundproofing, we are looking at options to help with the issues Mr Layton has raised.”

A Barratt Homes West Midlands spokesperson meanwhile denied the company had a “two-tier” approach to mixed housing developments, saying: “We build all of our homes to the same high standard, whether they are for private sale or affordable housing.

“We are sorry that this customer has had some issues and we are working closely with all parties to resolve them as quickly as we can.”

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