The block of one, two and three-bedroom homes encountered an issue during construction which meant the windows, doors and balconies were all facing the “wrong way”
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One of the UK’s biggest housing developers has been ordered to modify a series of homes after it built an entire block backwards.
Persimmon Homes will have to fix dozens of homes in Colchester, Essex, where 262 properties have been built and put on the market.
The block of one, two and three-bedroom homes encountered an issue during construction which meant the windows, doors and balconies were all facing the “wrong way”.
Martin Goss, a Colchester councillor, said the “major cock-up” from Persimmon Homes was “mystifying”.
He said: “It just beggars belief. How on earth can a developer build a set of flats the wrong way? How can a national developer make such a major mistake?
“It’s gone through a long process and a number of iterations to get where it is today but obviously they now need to build it to the agreed plan.”
Persimmon Homes said: “We have made some limited alterations to the position of some windows during the early stages of construction, in line with our planning consent.”
The Mirror has heard from dozens of buyers who had had issues with new build properties in the past decade.
Newsquest / SWNS)
The man, whose name has been changed to protect his anonymity, bought his property on October 31, 2019.
A Persimmon brochure advertised the Birmingham property as a “four-bedroom home”, and the house was priced with that in mind.
But Smith claims the fourth bedroom was suspiciously small, measuring just 3.12 x 2.04 metres.
Smith said he began to suspect something was not right, and started looking into the issue.
He went to the Valuation Office Agency and found that the house was registered as a three-bedroom home, not a four-bed.
The fourth ‘bedroom’ was actually meant to be an office, Smith says.
He claimed that Persimmon sold the property as a four-bedroom home to bump up its profits.
Bedrooms bump up house prices more than any other room, so sellers have an incentive to fit in as many as they can.
Smith estimates the extra bedroom means he has overpaid by £15,000 to £20,000 for the property.
The fourth bedroom is also a factor in how much he pays in mortgage payments and council tax on the property every month.
He claims one Persimmon employee told him: “It won’t be an issue when coming to sell as the average Joe doesn’t look at council plans for the property.”
Smith said: “Even now it’s still stressful. I’ve probably spent two to three full weeks of my own time on this.”
A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes said: “[Mr Smith] bought a stock plot and was made fully aware of the layout and dimensions of the property. In addition, he visited and viewed the completed house before purchasing.”
The buyer is now seeking £15,000 to £20,000 in compensation to make up for the extra ‘bedroom’.
Persimmon was founded in 1972 by Duncan Davidson.
The company is based in York, but builds UK-wide, with 13,500 houses and flats produced every year.
In August this year, the business posted a pre-tax profit increase of 64% to £480.1m for the six months to June 30 on the back of group revenues of £1.84billion. It s profits were significantly boosted by the government’s Help to Buy scheme.
House builders such as Persimmon have come under huge scrutiny in recent years over the building materials used in the wake of Grenfell.
The developer, which was not linked to the West London tragedy, agreed to pay £75million to fix flammable cladding in 26 new build blocks earlier this year. Rival developers such as Taylor Wimpey have agreed similar measures.
The government has also introduced a £3.5billion fund to pay for cladding removal or remediation in buildings over 18 metres, or six storeys, high in England.
However, controversially, flat owners in blocks of four to six storeys – or 11 to 18 metres – will have to take out a loan to remove cladding, which will be repayable at up to £50 a month for “many years”.