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Missing fire safety barriers at Persimmon Homes' new builds will be subject of public meeting

By Eleanor Perkins

Persimmon Homes will face tough questions over missing fire barriers at properties in Deal at a public meeting organised by the MP.

Tens of residents living at Timperley Place have already confirmed they will be attending the meeting which will be held at the Golf Road Centre in Deal at 5.30pm on Thursday, July 18.

It will be a chance for them to probe the housebuilder on why cavity barriers are missing from a number of homes and what action is being taken to bring their new builds up to scratch.

The devastating fire in Cornfield Row, Deal, in April 2018. Picture: Bliss Wilson
The devastating fire in Cornfield Row, Deal, in April 2018. Picture: Bliss Wilson

The issue of missing barriers - which are used to conceal voids between the brick and frame and inhibit the spread of fire - was highlighted by the Mercury and KentOnline last month.

Residents received a letter from Persimmon Homes warning them of the oversight, at roof level.

The damning news came after a fire broke out in Cornfield Row on the estate last April, destroying two homes and damaging a third.

The company said it wanted to carry out checks to ensure these were "isolated incidents".

The fire ravaged home in Cornfield Row remains under reconstruction
The fire ravaged home in Cornfield Row remains under reconstruction

At the time 13 home owners claimed their properties had failed to meet the required standard in safety tests.

That number is thought to have grown with residents living at Aylesham Village - also built by Persimmon - experiencing the same issues.

MP for Deal and Dover, Charlie Elphicke, says he has since been contacted by concerned residents from both sites.

He met with Persimmon’s south east managing directer Tom Wright at Westminster on Tuesday, July 2 and has now written to more than 300 properties inviting them to attend this public meeting.

He said: “I am very concerned about this issue.

Cavity barriers are designed to seal against fire and smoke
Cavity barriers are designed to seal against fire and smoke

"Residents have complained to me about the quality of the whole scheme – yet inadequate fire proofing is another matter entirely.

“People deserve to know what happened. They have spent their hard-earned money on homes that are not built to an acceptable standard and could even be at risk of burning down.

“It’s vital to guarantee that every home on that estate is safe.”

MP Charlie Elphicke met with residents of Hyton Drive to discuss problems with the Persimmon housing development in October 2017
MP Charlie Elphicke met with residents of Hyton Drive to discuss problems with the Persimmon housing development in October 2017

Mr Wright has promised Mr Elphicke that the firm will look at individual issues raised, produce a timeline for when all properties would be inspected, and provide a dedicated customer care hotline for both the Deal and Aylesham developments.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes confirmed: "Persimmon Homes will be sending a representative to the meeting, but it is not yet confirmed who that will be."

The National House Building Council (NHBC) which carried out building control at the development has also been invited.

Mr Elphicke added: “I was very clear that we need to see things happen much more quickly than they have been.”

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

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