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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
November 7th 2017
And remember, this work started on March 6th 2016
and how not to use chapter 8 barriers
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`
August 23rd 2016
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.
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.
The Old Brewery Story
( A project full of promise but well short on delivery. )