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Homeowners' anger at 'eyesore' ditch on Persimmon Homes development in Three Valleys Way, Bushey
People who have bought new homes on a development site in Bushey are "irate" after moving in to find a ditch in their front gardens.
The residents all bought homes at Queen’s Acre - a development by Persimmon Homes which has involved building 121 new flats and houses in Three Valleys Way just off Aldenham Road.
Rajan Mehta moved into his new home in October, and said he believed the culvert would be covered over, not fenced off with a danger sign.
He said: "We bought the house before it was built, and we were told there would be a ground level feature but cannot believe what is there now."
Mr Mehta, 26, said he noticed the culvert a few weeks before he moved in, and when he brought up the issue with Persimmon Homes he was told to contact the council - who told him it was a necessary feature.
He continued: "In the plans it looked like there would be turf outside of our homes.
"The residents are irate at the situation, especially at the health aspect. We are worried the culvert will become a breeding ground for parasites and we do not want random organisms breeding outside our homes.
"This is our first home which has made the whole situation even more annoying. If we had been warned about this before we bought the house, we most likely would not have moved.
"The culvert not only restricts the space in front of our house, it could be dangerous for residents.
"It is not something people would expect to be in front of a newly built house."
Amadeep Virk, 28, moved into her new house with her husband in October, and said this situation has overshadowed the experience of buying their first home.
She said: "We knew there would be a culvert, but when we completed the sale we were told it would be covered with turf.
"Every time we have spoken to someone at the company, they do not know what will happen and we just want answers.
"The aftercare we were promised by the company is non-existent. We just want it covered so we don’t have to see it. At the moment there is rubbish in it, which is not healthy."
Mrs Virk and other residents are concerned that the value of their property has gone down as a result of the ditch. She continued: "The culvert is an eyesore - we look out of the living room and have to look at a mud pit. Persimmon homes should cover the cost of what we have all lost.
"This is the first house me and my husband have bought. When you move into a new home you want to be able to have your family around but all everyone talks about is this eyesore.
Bushey North councillor Leslie Winters said he would be calling a residents meeting to "resolve the issue without delay".
He said: "I have received many complaints from the residents of Queens Acre, most of which are the responsibility of the developers. Until now promises have been made and not kept."
Rob Phelps, technical director at Persimmon Homes Thames Valley, said: "The swale constructed caters for the flow of water from the development and Waterfields Way drainage channel in storm conditions, and is part of the overall sustainable drainage strategy approved through the planning process at Queens Acre.
"Following feedback from residents we are reviewing the design and will discuss with the Environment Agency and Local Authority in the near future to assess whether there is an alternative design that meets the objectives set down in the original planning permission."
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