Boarded up Battledown Park play area and cavity rats claims
PLAY areas on a Cheltenham housing estate have been left boarded up by developers for four years.
Angry residents in Battledown Park, Whaddon, have criticised Taylor Wimpey for a series of problems in their new homes.
Some believe rats have found a way into their cavity walls.
Andrew Tibbotts paid £180,000 for his home in the area.
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Speaking to the BBC's Watchdog, during an investigation of the house builder, he said: "I hear them in the morning, afternoon and late at night.
"You don't feel comfortable in your house and you don't feel like having people around."
Mr Tibbotts was told by the firm that he needed to prove how the rats were getting there, so ordered a drainage survey.
Experts concluded the drainage system bedded in gravel was insufficient and dropped – leaving voids which the rats could be getting in through.
Elsewhere on the estate, a mum-of-three is demanding the developers open up the playgrounds.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said: "We live right near one playground that has never opened. I would love to take the children there.
"It is really sad and depressing to see an empty park sat there."
A Taylor Wimpey spokeswoman said: "Regrettably, we have clearly not met our high quality standards and we would like to apologise to these customers for the problems that they have experienced.
"We were already working with each of these customers to rectify the issues identified and are committed to resolving the remaining issues as quickly as possible."
She added pest problems were not covered by the warranty unless they arose from a build defect. Inspections had failed to identify the point of entry of the rats and, therefore, the company would be carrying out further investigations on his behalf to find the access point, she said.
"Two of the three play areas at the development are temporarily fenced off awaiting adoption of the surrounding open space by the local authority," said the spokeswoman.
"Additional groundwork is required in one case and this is due to be completed by the end of September. We are awaiting specification of the equipment for the third play area from the local authority."
Cheltenham Borough Council take on the responsibility of looking after public green spaces and play areas after new developments are complete.
But the ones on the estate have not been adopted and are still the developer's responsibility.
A council spokesman said: "We do understand residents' concerns. We are in discussions with the developer and we are working with them to get the spaces opened for public use.
"The developer must lay the site out to the council's satisfaction following the approved plans.
"Any public green spaces and play areas are then maintained by the developer for a year.
"During the year the developer is required to put right any defects and it is during that time that the space would be offered for adoption."