Pavements dug up in the hunt for Battledown rats
PAVEMENTS have been dug up by workmen hunting for rats in a Cheltenham housing estate.
Residents in Battledown Estate had complained the rodents had been infesting their homes.
And they criticised developer Taylor Wimpey for a series of problems in their new homes.
But people living on the estate, which was completed in 2008, said the company was now pulling out all the stops to fix the issues.
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Andrew Tibbotts had heard rats crawling in the cavities between his walls.
Surveyors called in to examine the land found drains had been poorly laid, leading to the creatures getting in to Mr Tibbott's home.
Taylor Wimpey initially refused to investigate but after the Echo and BBC consumer show Watchdog got involved, they agreed to try to solve the problem.
Mr Tibbotts said he was impressed with the work being carried out by the contractors.
"Taylor Wimpy have been pulling out all the stops," he said. "Workmen dug up the paving slabs outside my house yesterday.
"They also went into my neighbours' homes to check there were no problems.
"Nothing has been found yet but they are coming out with an endoscope to put between my wall and my neighbour's house.
"Next week they will dig up another section of the front garden to investigate the drains more closely. It is a shame it has taken this to get them to do something but if they had done this from the start, it would have saved me a lot of hassle.
"To be fair, they are now trying to find out what the problem is and root it out."
A spokeswoman for Taylor Wimpey said workmen had started work on finding out how the rats were getting in to the house.
"Paving slabs were lifted to allow us to inspect the drainage system but the contractors could not identify any problem," she said.
"We will carry out further investigations with the customer."
There had also been concerns about the play areas, which were still not open for children to use.
Contractors have now started work on finishing the playgrounds and hope to have them completed by October 14.
"We are aiming for the final play area to be equipped and signed off by the local authority by the end of the year," added the spokeswoman.
"We have been advised that they will then require a 12-month maintenance period before the play areas may be adopted and opened to the public.
"We are actively pursuing alternative means of being able to make some of the play areas available to residents at an earlier date."