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  1. ITV Report

Residents feel 'unsafe' in new build homes amid fire safety concerns

It's estimated hundreds of homes built by the developer Persimmon Homes could be affected.

Residents in new build homes across the South West have told ITV News they feel 'unsafe' after it emerged fire safety features in their properties had not been fitted adequately or were missing.

It's estimated hundreds of homes built by the developer Persimmon Homes could be affected.

Frances Rogers moved from Bristol to Bishop's Cleeve, near Cheltenham, four years ago to enjoy a better quality of life.

But she says the ordeal has made her question the quality of her new build home.

She received a letter in November from the developer saying the fire safety barriers in the loft were 'not adequate'.

Frances Rogers moved from Bristol to Bishop's Cleeve four years ago to enjoy a better quality of life.

"I'm cross that they could miss a potentially huge safety issue. I felt that we were living on a ticking time bomb because we didn't know if the house caught fire if it could spread.

"And now my thoughts are we don't know what else might be wrong," said Frances.

On the same housing estate another nine residents have raised concerns with Tewkesbury Borough Council.

The developer says it will inspect all the properties which could be affected.

The issue of fire safety first emerged in Exeter after a blaze at a house in April 2018. Resident Paul Frost watched as the smoke billowed across the housing estate. Subsequently it emerged fire cavity barriers were missing.

Mr Frost then realised that barriers were missing in his property as well.

Persimmon Homes has since refitted Mr Frost's property, but he believes the inspections aren't thorough enough.

At the end of last year Persimmon Homes commissioned an independent review.

"If you don't inspect the whole property how do you know the property is safe? When you build a timber frame home all the doors and windows have to have fire barriers.

"The eaves have to have fire barriers. But also if your home is a semi-detached or terraced you have to have fire barriers.

"Every single point must be checked and they aren't doing it."

At the end of last year Persimmon Homes commissioned an independent review. It found that there was "a nationwide problem of missing or incorrectly fitted fire cavity barriers".

Persimmon Homes say they have a clear action plan to address the problem.

Persimmon Homes says it has a clear action plan to address the problem.

In a statement the company adds: "To date 21,000 properties have been inspected and we continue to inspect 500 properties per week.

"Inspections will continue until we no longer find houses with a failure. We apologise to all customers affected and continue to deal directly with individual concerns."

The huge number of inspections demonstrates just how widespread this problem could be.