FAMILIES are being stretched to breaking point over issues with their homes on a new housing estate on Barnsley town centre’s outskirts.

Kathryne Hall, who moved into the Oakland Gardens estate with her partner Connor Semley just over two years ago, has struggled to look after two-month-old son Euan while attempting to fix more than 100 faults with their first home.

The problems started immediately with a mislaid carpet, and the couple went on to experience cracks in brickwork, a dangerously warped lintel over their patio door, a staircase that wasn’t bolted in place, damaged roof tiles and all manner of issues with finishing to walls, doors and windows.

“We had cracks from the floor all the way up on the front of the house - I must’ve been at it months checking whether they were settlement cracks,” said 23-year-old Kathryne, of Kestrel Road.

“But it wouldn’t crack through the brick like that, so we were pretty sure there was movement in the house.

In Text Promo Image

“Then we got our own survey done, and they found the lintel over the patio doors was bowed.

“It got that bad I couldn’t shut the doors.

“I rang Persimmon, and someone came out and took a chunk of plastic out of the door frame.

“I got straight back onto them - I was really scared it was actually going to fall down, I was on my own at that time and pregnant.

“A sub-contractor came and replaced the lintel, and the bricks looked like stairs - you could walk up them.”

Even cosmetic issues such as brickwork needing to be acid washed have not been done, the couple said.

A report from a snagger lists 109 faults with the house, internally and externally, which Kathryne submitted to Persimmon ahead of the firm’s two-year warranty expiring.

“The staircase is the second major problem we’ve had,” she added.

“There have been a lot of silly things that you’d expect to be right when you move into a £200,000-plus house.

“The front door doesn’t even fit properly. My partner is a joiner and works away, so I’ve been on my own dealing with a lot of it. I’m knackered.

“You think you’ve bought something nice, but the amount of stress it’s put between me and Connor - it nearly split us up last year.”

Marc Thompson, 52, lives on Hawk Street with his wife and son, and said issues with their home - bought three years ago - have led them to look at moving elsewhere.

“A snagging list we sent pre-Covid still hasn’t been dealt with,” he said.

“We are getting people in separately to deal with it.

“We’ve had patio doors refitted because they were skewed, stair rails refitted, 90 per cent of the paintwork needs redoing. A lot of bodged repairs. They’ve not lived up to any of their promises.

“When we’d paid our deposit and exchanged contracts, they changed the house behind us from a two-storey to a three-storey purely because they’d had demand for that type of property.

“There’s no customer care.

“They’re consistently getting stuff wrong, it’s not simple mistakes - it’s a systemic failure, and we as householders are having to pick up the pieces.

“It could be a very nice estate, but they haven’t addressed these issues.”

Planning permission was granted for the Oakland Gardens development, off Wilthorpe Road, in 2014.

Originally planned to comprise 301 dwellings on privately-owned land, further applications lodged with Barnsley Council increased the number of homes to 326 - including 14 built on public open space.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes South Yorkshire said: “We are always very sorry to hear if any customer is dissatisfied as we aim to address any concerns in a timely manner.

“Without being given specific customers’ details we are unable to comment on individual cases.

“All our homes come with a two-year Persimmon warranty, plus a ten-year insurance-backed warranty and we always handle customers’ concerns on an individual basis.”