The Oxford Mail recently reported that David Wilson Homes built 678 new homes on their Shelton Park development in Carterton between 2002 and 2005, but as yet, an “unknown number” of new homes had not been inspected after they were completed. These homes were built before the Barratt £2.7bn acquisition of David Wilson Homes in April 2007.
A spokeswoman for David Wilson Homes said the company was working with the district council to ascertain how many properties do not have a completion certificate, but added that it was anticipated this would be a “relatively low number”.
To comply with the Building Regulations, all house builders are required to get final inspection completion certificate for every new home constructed and before anyone moves in. The building inspector should be asked to inspect each home on completion, to ensure it has been built to the required building regulations. An inspection ‘CML’ certificate is normally required before mortgage funds are released. Owners without a completion certificate would not be able to sell their homes if they ever chose to.
Building inspectors from West Oxfordshire District Council have now been brought in to inspect the houses and faults have been found in 24 houses so far concerning chimneys, windows and ventilation.
Simon Kirk, David Wilson Homes (Southern) technical director, said: “We are aware of outstanding issues at Carterton. We are working closely with West Oxford District Council to ensure that these issues are resolved.”
West Oxfordshire District Council spokeswoman Carys Davies said: “Where we have identified issues, David Wilson Homes are implementing the remedial measures, agreed by the district council and the property owner, as quickly as possible so that a completion certificate can be awarded. We have identified 24 properties where works are required and discussions on remedial works are ongoing. This includes work to chimneys, windows and ventilation issues.”
Quite how final inspections could be “missed” on at least 24 new homes and mortgage funds released without a completion certificate for each property has yet to be explained by the organisation engaged to carry out the inspections or by David Wilson Homes Southern. Even more inexplicable is how the various solicitors appointed by the 24 new home buyers also failed to ensure that completion certificates had been issued before legally completing on each property.
This would appear to be an unprecedented catalogue of professional failure at many levels.