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On february 27th 2016 ( three weeks after we moved in to our property in Oasthouse Drive ) we received a letter from a company called Baram Ltd ( acting on behalf of Linden Homes ) stating that improvement works were due to start on March 6th 2016
and would take six weeks. ( see attached copy.)
So work started, as the letter stated, and all seemed well but then what seemed wrong was that the cut out sections from the retaining wall that would take the new steps were in between two parking bays when they could have used just one bay.This was either a mistake on the set of drawings for the project, which you would expect to be questioned if you had doubts, or the builder never read the plans properly.
Regardless of it not looking right from the outset work continued and the steps were completed and that was the last we saw of anyone on site for quite a few weeks despite trying to get any kind of explanation why.
The site was now all but abandoned and despite trying to get some sort of answer from Lindens they quite simply refused to give any sort of explanation other than they were not sure who was responsible. This from the Principal Contractor to the works..
Around about the end of August I was given a copy of the Horndean Post,dated 11/7/2016 with a front page spread on the state of the car park area and how the steps were in the wrong place and the wall was not as specified,
Copy of e- mail from Linden Homes customer services
Sent: 05 September 2016 15:55
To: Wootton, David
Subject: RE: Complaint
Dear Mr Wootton
Could you please confirm your address – is Oasthouse Drive your property or is that the one doing the work; also, are you the owner or a tenant? If the work is happening in a communal car park area it would be Pentland’s responsibility, as they deal with the communal parts on that side of the development.
I’m afraid I don’t know anything about this, but if you could provide me with the information above, let me know where on the development this is happening, and perhaps a couple of photos so I know what you’re referring to I’ll see if I can find anything out for you.
Copy of e-mail sent to Linden homes customer services on September 4th 2016.
A couple of weeks ago l phoned and spoke to you in relationship to a complaint about the development where I live, the old brewery Horndean. Work has been started to a car park to the side of my property in oasthouse drive, and has stopped leaving it looking like a building site. Now you told me you knew nothing of this and referred me to east hants council who in turn told me the same, Pentland did the very same thing. Yesterday someone gave me a copy of the Horndean Post with an article on these steps that have been half built, not only in the wrong place but the wall is wrong as well so quite clearly you did know what was going on but decided not to tell me so could you please tell me when this mess is going to be sorted out as we are all fed up around here with this mess on our doorstep, at least a call from or mail from someone is not too much to ask.
Horndean Post 11th July 2016
Tuesday 28.11.2017 and, as expected, no one on site today, we had a one day fencing frenzy
August 23rd 2016
November 7th 2017
and how not to use chapter 8 barriers
And remember, this work started on March 6th 2016
In September 2017 we had another letter from Barum stating that on October 9th 2017 work to complete the area would start and would take nine weeks.To date they have taken 25 of the 45 working days of that period with very little done.
So to put the put the whole of the work that has been done from March 6th 2016 to November 7th 2017 (434 working days. ) in a few lines is as follows;
* Two sets of steps built in the retaining wall leading from car park to the front of the retail units
* Flint sets fitted into the front of the retaining wall
* Tree pits added to car park ( no trees yet )
* wooden planters placed around site ( no plants yet )
* A rumble strip to car park entrance
* dig out and concrete base pads.
Between October 9th 2017 and October 20th 2017 there was a period of actual production on site where they dug out and concreted base pits for the new railings, these railings were approved by EHDC in March of this year, that means everyone involved in the manufacturing and fitting of these railings was aware of the requirements needed to fit them in position but it took a further 6 months before the excavation of the footpath started.
Since October 20th and today November 10th there has been no-one on site.
I have lots of e-mails sent and, on the odd occasion, answered with Linden Homes but for the best part of the whole project they have been nothing short of awful, a complete intention of not letting us know why this is such a disaster, its a very small job and should not cause this much distress
I have had a lot of help from East Hants District Council who are just as keen to get this finished as we are.
On the October 23rd 2017 I had an e-mail from a resident in Southdown Road, Horndean who had been given my details by EHDC and was concerned about the state of the area. he was keen for us to get a party together and tidy up the planters and tree pits so that at least when we have the Remembrance day parade in the village it will be a bit tidier.
A group of us got together on October 29th and carried out a clean up of the area
Horndean post Wednesday November 1st 2017
I intend to continue in trying to get this area completed, we moved into our home in February 2016 with no mention of the mess that was about to happen and all but the first month we have had this outside our window, not acceptable and a massive dent in the name of Linden Homes.
The one thing that has stood out all the way so far is the appalling customer service from Linden Homes and the out right refusal for anyone to actually meet us and explain this ridiculous situation
On the afternoon of Friday November 10th a group of landscapers, who were from the local council, planted out the boxes at the front of the area, this has made a big difference and will look a lot better for remembrance sunday so a massive thanks to all that made that happen.
But the best photo is the planter box that is outdone by the majestic rockery features in the background courtesy of our ` builders`
Today (13.11.2017) we have site attendance, not sure yet of the intent but at least we have some action.
So far 25 of the 45 days we were given have been used.
Letter from Linden Homes on Monday 13.11.2017
( click on arrow to open out )
And my reply
Dear Mr Wootton,
Regarding the first point you make, this is because there are two different contractors involved. The groundworks contractor had a risk assessment that allowed them to construct the concrete bases, but unfortunately the metal fabricator does not and will not carry out the drilling works required whilst the cable is live.
I apologise that you did not receive the response to your email of 30 October, although this has been somewhat superseded by our more recent correspondence.
Whilst I agree that our communication in this matter could have been better, I can only assure you that we are committed to completing these works.
My thoughts on this.....
I do take Lindens point on the RAMS (risk assessments and method statements ) and the importance of them but service clearance would have been a major priority with the fabricator, it`s below surface level and he knows how they are fitted and secondly why would Linden sign them off without being aware of the way in which he intended to fit them, service clearance is a major factor on all parts so if he wont fit them because of the cable are we to believe that the live cable was built into the bases.. really.
But ,as always, it`s this gap of 156 working days between railings approval and actual excavation for the bases that I find astounding and I`m being generous, I have calculated it from the last day of March, could have been the 2nd
Horndean Post Wednesday 15th November 2017
Tuesday November 14th and we seem to be making a start on the installation of the railings
`Dont hold it`
Today 17th November 2017 and we have a section of railings done. no attendance today from the fencers but two Baram on site for half a day working on the ramp area. can see no reason why the railings were not being fixed today.as of today 30 of the 45 working days have been used
no one on site again today, Monday 20.11.2017, they must surely be running out of excuses by now....copy of e-mail sent to MD of Galiford Try today 20.11.2017
I thought that we were going to see a big move forward on this when they started fixing the railings but no attendance on Friday and none today again, less than three weeks left of the last time scale given, how can we keep having stop / starts like this, the railings must all be fabricated now, the live cable issue is weeks old, that must have been resolved.
This is really getting beyond reason now.
Reply from Galiford Try on Tuesday 21.11.2017
Dear Mr Wootton,
Further to your latest email, unfortunately we cannot continue until the live cable issue is resolved and this remains outstanding. We are chasing SSE daily, but are yet to receive a date from them. We will continue to chase daily and will advise you as soon as we have confirmation of a date from them.
I apologise for the ongoing delay.
and my reply on Wednesday 22.11.2017
The biggest problem I have with all this is the fact that we bought our place and within less than a month this all started, no mention of it at the time of sale, not even the fact it should have been six weeks and here we are nineteen months later and still looking a complete mess.
I will be honest and say that I find it staggering that a company of your size allows this to happen, steps built wrong, railings taking an age to fabricate, service clearance not carried out correctly, the list goes on, you must have a wealth of supply chain options to choose from, supervision of these works has been a massive downfall
I will not act on something without letting you know and this morning I phoned SSE to ask why this isolation is taking so long, they could find no record of a request for Horndean, if they had said that it`s stacked in the system then at least that would be something, even though this should have been done months ago, but they could not verify anything, maybe it`s there and they could not find it at the time in which case fair enough.
And of course there is the matter of the area itself so untidy, Pentland won`t do anything because it`s still yours and I think by now we realise Lindens are not going to do anything either, there was no action for Remembrance day so we have no chance of a tidy up, unless we do it ourselves.
I am not without understanding of the position of our little site works in the grand picture and also that if you finished tomorrow it would still be deemed a failure
I don`t think anyone, other than us who live here, have any understanding of the frustration of having this mess here day in day out.
I don’t know how much information you are updated with on the progress of the works but it surely must be of a concern to you.
Good luck with this one
Today, Monday November 27th we have the fencers back on site, six working days since they were last here, will see how things go but the ironic part of this was they were working on the concrete with the footpath lights shining, the term `isolation` springs to mind.
E-Mail sent to MD of Galiford Try on Wednesday 29.11.17 @6am
Thought it best to keep you updated with the progress on site, sorry for using the `P` word, we had fencers here for one day ( Monday 27.11) and then nothing yesterday, not sure about today yet but what I would say is that I was actually impressed by the work they did Monday, in fact they worked late to fix the railings, it was a good job they had the path lighting there, but I was wondering would that be the same lighting that was causing problems and needed isolation or has that particular obstacle been removed.
I will keep you in the loop on production
and the reply
I am now on leave returning to work on Monday 4 December. For any urgent issues, please contact my PA, Lizzie North.
Wednesday 29.11.2017 and yet again no-one on site
Thursday 30.11.2017 Notes for today
I am at a loss at this time, we now have fencers who turn up for the odd day and then nothing, the only contact with Linden homes who occasionally responded ( Galiford Try ) is now on holiday and as for the other people in that company they have no intention of being part of this. EHDC have been very active in this and they have said that it should all be complete by early to mid december, that is very unlikely to happen judging by the lack of commitment shown by Linden and the contractors.
Tis the season to be jolly tra la la la
E Mail sent to MD of Galiford Try (Linden Homes ) on Monday 11.12.2017
As I am sure you are aware we have had no site attendance to fix railings since November 27th and then that was the only day since November 17th, why was there a week`s gap ?
Please look at the attached;
•Photo 1. This shows the cable run going behind the concrete base.
•Photo 2 shows the cable run marked out behind the bases
•Photo 3 shows fence legs fitted within the cable run
•Photo 4 shows the state of the remaining holes with the cable run marked out (bottom left of photo )
So why have the rest not been fitted, quite clearly they started fixing without isolation as shown in photo 3 and in actual fact the lighting was on while they were working as I witnessed, there is no danger to fixing that fencing , it has been scanned and marked out for that very purpose and if they still insist on isolation (but as I said they have already fixed without it) how will they know if they have damaged it, will they wait until its turned back on and hope for the best.
This has gone beyond any reason you can give and has been a total shambles from day one.
Photos taken Sunday 10.12.2017
Monday 11.12.2017 and it is becoming such a pain to have to look at this day in day out , twenty months of complete mis management, total lack of honesty and clarification on why this is such a massive disaster. linden Homes have carried out this very small building project with the competence of a company who should never be involved in construction at any level. I have tried to get someone to at least come to site and explain this mess but, to be honest, who in their right mind would even try to explain it .
the nine weeks from October 9th that Lindens said it would take to complete the works is up next Monday 18.12.2017, may need a tad more effort to realise this target !!
And the reply today (12.12.17 ) to my e-mail of 11.12.2017 to Galiford Try, as expected, reminds me of a pre-prepared answer from a solicitor.
Dear Mr Wootton,
Further to your email of 11 December 2017.
The situation remains as previously explained to you. The groundworks contractor was happy to prepare the bases ready for the fixing of the railings under their RAMS, but the contractor fixing the railings was not prepared to do so and the works they have completed to date were all they were prepared to do until the cable is made safe.
Unfortunately, we still await a date from the SSE for this work even though we continue to chase. As soon as we have this date confirmed, we will advise you accordingly.
I apologise again for this unavoidable delay to the works.
My thoughts on this
Now I dont wish to sound suspicious or, in any way untrusting but I spent a good twenty minutes on the phone to SSE ( Scottish & Southern Energy) today 12.12.17, who control the power supply to us and they could find no trace of an application for isolations in that area. They suggested that we ask for the application No. / Job reference to clarify the situation with them, this is something that will be pursued but could anyone continue to insist they are chasing SSE daily for this isolation when in actual fact it has never been applied for, I dont know but in all honesty it would not surprise me.
Today, 20.12.2017 and still no-one on site since 27.11.2017, no word from anyone at Lindens other than the same old `we are waiting for isolations to the power cable` so we are stuck with this for another christmas, so fed up with having to look at this mess day in day out and really the inadequate capabilities of Linden Homes to carry out these works hits home when you think that in March 2016 we were told this would last six weeks.
Elaine Ticknell (EHDC) was on site today ( 20.12.17) with, I think, someone from Linden Homes, I was at work so not too sure, Baram ops on site and the waste skip has been removed and a token clear up of the site for christmas. I wish I could be happy with that but it is so little so late, I have no idea when work will resume but there is really nothing that can be done or said anymore, all we can do is wait and hope, if I was a religious man I would pray but as it is hope is my only option.
There have been 667 days from day 1 of this little job starting to now (2.1.2018 ) got a feeling the grand total will be a lot more, its hard to understand how this could, and still is, being allowed to happen
today (2.1.2018) and the start of another year hoping to get this mess sorted out. We have two ops on site today fitting landscape furniture, still no movement on the fencing but who knows, stranger things have happened
today (friday 5.1.18 ) we have part of the path open (see photos below ) two ops on site today placing tarmac to the open holes, re-arrange a bit of fencing and there we have it, walkable path !!!!.
still no movement on the actual fencing getting completed but I now know how it must have felt to be the one who discovered ways of splitting the atom or find the cure for polio, happy that we are moving forward but, like the cure for the common cold, still not reached the finished product.
Today, Friday 12.1.2018 and still no site attendance since that majestic episode of opening a section of path on 5.1.2018. I actually think we will make the 2nd birthday of this epic construction project, lets hope Lindens dont apply to take over from Carillion
January 19th 2018.
More Heras fencing, steps now in the right place small section of path open, lots of fencing and groundworks left to do.....oh and by the way, Nash Hall is now turned into really nice flats.not done by Linden Homes I hasten to add.
Circa April 2016,
Heras fencing, steps in the wrong place and Nash Hall is in a state of repair needed
Its now been two weeks ( 5.1.2018 ) since we had any site attendance, I think that you just get to a state of `I dont think anyone cares anymore` and so you just have to accept what it is and hope that one day it will be completed. Not once in this sorry saga have Linden Homes been in contact to explain what is going on apart from half hearted attemps at answering my e-mails
To date, 25.1.2018 there have been 481 working days, this excludes weekends and holidays, since it started on 6.3.2016. how I would love to sit down with Linden Homes just to listen to the reasons why this is such a disaster, priceless
copy of e-mail sent to Linden Homes this morning ( 5.2.2018 ) reply back saying that Antony Mathews has left the company and that I should resend to customer services, you mean that part of the company exists....wow
Do you not think that, as we are coming up to the second anniversary of the six weeks car park works, Linden at least would issue some sort of statement or explanation of this chaos, I don’t mean waiting for electrical isolations or the manufacturing of railings but why it was not supervised in any shape or form or why there was quite obviously no planning done to allow this very small project get completed in the time that was stated.
Not once throughout the whole of this has your company sent out any form of explanation or at least set up a meeting with residents other than the e-mail replies to me that seem to be prepared ready for sending before mine arrive, maybe you think that it`s not important enough I mean I don’t know if anyone other than me ever questions it, I know lots moan about it but that may be as far as they go.
Not even Linden Homes can argue to the fact it has not been a total disaster but at least have the decency to tell us why , that’s the least we deserve
below is a copy of e-mail received from Linden Homes in answer to the one sent yesterday (5.2.18) and at last an attempt to explain this mess, mind you no-one was on site today.
Dear Mr Wootton,
Firstly, I must advise you that Antony no longer works for Linden Homes.
I do apologise for the ongoing issues and that you feel our communication generally has been poor.
However, the streetlights were powered down last Friday and the railing works should be re-commencing this week. Our contractors have provided us with a programme that concludes on 23rd March.
We have also arranged for another contractor to attend to the general maintenance and rubbish issues on the development. Again, we hope that they will be on site this week to commence these works.
We will then look to hand the development across to the Management Company as soon as possible after the completion of the above works.
I apologise again for these delays, but hope that we are close to concluding the outstanding work.
For and on behalf of Elaine Gaffney, Customer Services Manager, Linden Homes South
You may need to rub your eyes to confirm this (see below ) but yes, Tuesday 6th February and its all go once again... this will have to be updated tomorrow as I refuse to get too excited, been there ,got the T shirt
I was hoping this was not going to happen but after yesterdays fencing frenzy there was no site attendance today (Wednesday 7.2.18). Not really got any comment apart from I am not at all surprised. We wait and hope for tomorrow
Can I say that it was nice to receive an e-mail that at least spoke to me instead of the usual ones that explain nothing, the fact that the power issue was now resolved, the fencers are ready to carry on and everything was on all systems go…..wrong, we got one day this week where someone was on site, Tuesday, so we have had isolations for a week and have used that for one day, the same old story from Linden homes.
Again I thank you for the e-mail but ,once again, nothing new
And the reply
Dear Mr Wootton,
Thank you for your email.
Just to keep you updated with the progress going forward - the railing company have installed the posts along the majority of the upper walkway as far as they can until the second disconnection takes place; the railings panels will be installed after the reinstatement works have been completed. Barams are due on site Monday to commence with the reinstatement works to the upper walkway.
The works are due to continue over the next few weeks, concluding on 23rd March.
I understand your frustrations, but I hope that with the programme of works now in place, the outstanding work should all be resolved in a few weeks’ time.
For and on behalf of Philip Chapman, Managing Director, Linden Homes South
very well put together e-mail for the second time, all very promising but please, do not say you understand my frustration, you have no idea
Well its Monday 12.2.2018 and we have two Barums men on site to, I presume, to start reinstating the post holes to allow the railings to be fitted, such slow progress on this its almost mind numbing.
On a lighter note the arrangements for the projects second birthday are going well, there will be photos and a cake, I will invite Linden Homes, they may attend although they never have so far so I dont hold out a lot of hope on that one.
February 16th acco drain in and regulate ready to tarmac the path
As of today,16.2.18 there are 25 days left of the latest completion date given by Linden,if I was a betting man I think it might be worth a little flutter on not happening, now whatever could I base that forecast on
As of today, 21.2.2018 there have been 501 working days since 7.3.2016 when it started, the original estimate was 30 days
The Old Brewery Story
( A project full of promise but well short on delivery. )