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6th September 2019

Homes on a new estate in Barry have confirmed fire safety issues

BY: Nathan Spackman

A housing developer has admitted that properties on one of its estates need repair works after concerns were raised about fire safety by its residents.

Residents at White Farm in Barry claim fire barriers, which would restrict the spread of smoke and flames, are either completely or partially missing or incorrectly installed in some properties.

They are calling for independent inspections to be carried out.

Persimmon Homes said cavity barrier inspections are being carried out on some properties and that some require remedial work.

It said: “There are properties which do require remedial works and they will take place over the next two weeks.

“Some houses still require inspections and letters have been sent out requesting access.”

The White Farm Residents Group claim that at least 20 of their homes have fire safety issues but Persimmon has not confirmed the number of properties affected.

Residents have also reported issues around snow coming through their roofs, drainage issues and claim the fire safety inspections have been carried out by painters and decorators who worked on the homes during the building phase of the estate.

Persimmon said the fire safety inspections were being carried out by “competent trades people”.

Nichola Venables, who lives on the estate, said: “I’m really disappointed with Persimmon’s response to the fire safety issues. They know that at least 20 homes on this development have failed the fire safety inspection and whilst they have in most cases quickly completed the work needed to make these homes safe, they are not doing enough to make homeowners aware that there is an issue at all.

“On this development, they have reached out to some homes but not others. It appears that they are taking a sample approach. There doesn’t appear to be a pattern to which types of home are affected. The homes have all been built by the same team of workers, therefore every home needs to be checked.

“This isn’t just an issue in White Farm, I’ve received messages from home owners in multiple counties across England, Scotland and Wales.”

White Farm Residents Group is calling for Persimmon to pay for independent fire inspections of all properties on the estate.

Councillors Vincent Bailey and Leighton Rowlands have been in contact with the residents.

Cllr Bailey said: “It is totally unacceptable for new homes to be built without adequate fire safety measures, and Persimmon need to come clean on how widespread the issue is – not just here on White Farm, but across the United Kingdom.

“These allegations are deeply concerning and we need to see an independent assessment of all of the properties on this estate so that locals can have peace of mind.”

Cllr Rowlands added: “It’s not the first time that concerns have emerged about Persimmon developments and we want to see this dealt with proactively. W
Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns said he will meet with Persimmon Homes’ chief executive.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes East Wales said: “Cavity barrier inspections are ongoing at this development.

“While investigations are ongoing, we are not in a position to confirm numbers.

“There are properties which do require remedial works and they will take place over the next two weeks.

“Some houses still require inspections and letters have been sent out requesting access.

“The inspections are being carried out by competent trades people.”

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