Couple's shrinking garden shock
NEW home-owners Sue and Peter Mower came home to find a nasty surprise - their garden had shrunk.When they left their home in Grange Farm, Kesgrave, in the morning the fence along the side of the house was where it has always been.
NEW home-owners Sue and Peter Mower came home to find a nasty surprise in their garden - a fence.
When they left their home in Grange Farm, Kesgrave, in the morning the fence along the side of the house was where it has always been. When they came home it had moved 16ins closer to the house.
Mr and Mrs Mower bought the Persimmon Homes showhome, in Century Drive, 18 months ago but were not able to move in until last October because Persimmon agreed to rent it back off them for another 12 months.
They knew there were plans to build another home next to them, but earlier this year they were told that there had been an error when the fence around their garden was put up.
Mrs Mower said: “We were told about the fence, but we told them we would have to speak to our solicitor who would get in touch with their legal people.
“Our solicitor spoke to them, and was given a verbal assurance that nothing would happen until it was all sorted out.
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“The next thing we knew was that we had come home from work one day last week to find that the fence had been moved.
“The only time we spoke to them about this was right at the start of this - and they agreed to go through the proper legal channels.”
The couple paid £240,000 for their home, but still are not able to use it all.
“We haven't got access to our garage yet because Persimmon is using it as a sales office but their rental expires on May 1 and we going to make sure we get into it on that day.”
Persimmon sales director Jonathan Gibbs said the problem had been inherited when his company took over Westbury Homes, which built the showhome, last year.
He said: “We have been in talks with Mr and Mrs Mower over this. The fence was clearly installed on a different location than that which is recorded on the deeds.
“We have undertaken not to move the rest of the fence into the correct position until we have discussed it with Mr and Mrs Mower's solicitors but we had to move it slightly to get access to the neighbouring site where the new house is being built.
“We still hope to reach an amicable settlement with them - ultimately it is in their interest to have the fence in the correct position otherwise they will find it very difficult to sell the house in the future.”
Mr Gibbs said it had taken some time for the company to sort out the situation because all those who had been involved in the sales from Westbury had left following the takeover.
He said: “We had to start from square one, although we retain Westbury's legal firm. Once we established that there had been an error with the fence we moved very quickly to try to resolve the problem.”
Persimmon is worth £3.2 million.
It became the largest housebuilder in Britain last year when it took over Westbury Homes, overtaking Barrett.
Persimmon is building the Orwell Quay on the Waterfront, and will develop Griffin Wharf on the west bank of the Orwell.
Westbury was part of a consortium of housebuilders which built Grange Farm in the 1980s and 1990s.