Every home on new housing estate built in wrong place
PUBLISHED: 07:30 05 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:45 09 February 2019
Every property in a controversial Suffolk housing development was built in the wrong location, according to leaked documents.
Suffolk Coastal District Council’s (SCDC) enforcement report shows discrepancies between where Persimmon Homes built 95 homes at its Mount Pleasant development in Framingham, compared to the permitted designs. It is claimed the issues could lead to legal problems for the homeowners.
But Persimmon claims the properties were built in the correct position.
SCDC’s planning committee will discuss the enforcement issues this month.
Other errors noted in the report include roads and driveways built in the wrong place, a missing footpath and changes to home designs, including different materials and the addition of boxes on the front of properties.
While most of the variations in the location of the homes are a metre or less, some residents fear the discrepancies could mean their title deeds are unsound.
Christopher Hudson, who represents Framlingham at SCDC, said several homeowners had raised concerns with him about the legality of their documents.
“It’s an appalling example of development control,” he added. “I’m very worried about whether the houses are legally sound.”
Residents we spoke to on Friday said they had no concerns about their title deeds but wanted the matter to be dealt with.
Natalie Lucas, a mother-of-two, said: “We just want it resolved as quickly as possible and we don’t want any more stress. We’ve not done anything wrong and we’re the ones who have to live here.”
Alison Chilvers added: “We’ve been very happy with Persimmon and the development.”
Persimmon submitted two planning applications to bring permissions into line with what had been built, which were discussed by SCDC’s planning committee in November.
Councillors criticised the developers’ “catalogue of errors” and deferred the applications, recommending instead that a liaison group be formed, involving residents, council members and Persimmon, to agree a solution.
Persimmon said: “We are satisfied he houses and roads have been built in the correct position and information has been submitted to the council and presented to the liaison group to confirm this. We are working collaboratively with the council towards a resolution of all outstanding matters.”
‘I’m not holding my breath’
Members of a liaison group created to resolve the development’s enforcement concerns have raised doubts about reaching a compromise.
Christopher sharpe, chairman of Framlingham Residents’ Association, attended the second of two meetings held by the group, but said Persimmon had been “very reluctant to rectify what they’ve done”.
“I feel sorry for the residents who are facing this hassle and uncertainty,” he added.
Town councillor David Beal said he was concerned that Persimmon had continued to insist the properties had been built in the correct location, and feared Suffolk Coastal would accept their claims.
“I don’t find this satisfactory and can only hope that I can convince the committee members that, despite the case officer doing a convenient U-turn, they should not simply accept the developer’s word that they’re in the right positions,” he said.
“I’m not holding my breath for a positive result.”