"Shoddy installation by Taylor Wimpey nearly burned our dream Aylesbury house down"

The Ashworth family thought they had moved into their dream new home on the Taylor Wimpey Mayberry Place development in Aylesbury during 2015.

Thursday, 28th November 2019, 10:20 am
Updated Thursday, 28th November 2019, 3:37 pm
The Ashworth family

However they narrowly escaped with their lives after their fuse box caught on fire at their home on Tyson Road.

Barney Ashworth said his family were seconds away from a 'huge fire' on the Aylesbury Mayberry Place development.

Alarm bells started as he heard arcing sounds and crackles coming from their fuse box on November 16.

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Luckily for the Ashworths, an emergency electrician managed to isolate the mains feed coming into the building and put out the fire before it spread.

Barney has accused Taylor Wimpey of 'almost killing his family', and said had the fire happened overnight, the fire would have destroyed not only his house but would have instantly spread next door and possibly beyond.

He said: "The electrician said was caused by shoddy installation by Taylor Wimpey, as it's clear the issue was caused by a loose wire and 'bus bar'.

"How many other potentially fatal installations have there been across the country because of Taylor Wimpey's lack of care and attention regarding an incredibly dangerous component of building a safe house?

"They have scared me and my family, we no longer feel safe in our home. What else might not be installed correctly?

"In a place in time where the Grenfell Tower disaster, caused by an electrical fire and now a student block in Bolton going up in flames; serious question marks and answers need to be considered regarding the 1000's of new homes that they build each year and the £4.1 billion revenue they received."

In the preceding weeks Mr Ashworth sought advice from an independent professional electrician who 'unequivocally said the fire started because of Taylor Wimpey's poor installation'.

He continued: "I could not be more angry or upset about this incident, to think that myself, my wife and my wonderful 4 year-old daughter (who has lived here since she was a newborn baby) were nearly killed because of Taylor Wimpey's gross incompetence."

In a series of emails seen by the Bucks Herald - the Taylor Wimpey response does not address any of the concerns that Barney raises.

Mr Ashworth is now seeking legal action against Taylor Wimpey.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said: “The safety of our customers and their families is our number one priority and we would like to apologise to Mr Ashworth and his family for the issues they experienced with the fuse box at their home [on 16th November 2019].

“As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we contacted Mr Ashworth to arrange an inspection of his electrical consumer unit by the manufacturer, Hager, and an independent electrical contractor, to determine the cause and resolve this as quickly as possible.

"Once Mr Ashworth grants us access to his home, the inspection will be carried out and we will offer any further assistance necessary.

“We can confirm that the installation of the electrical consumer unit at Mr Ashworth’s home was checked by a qualified electrician at the point of completion and met all building and electrical safety requirements, as well as National House-Building Council (NHBC) standards.”

Barney contests this.

He said: "In my correspondence with them they have just ignored all of my concerns.

"The initial response from them even goes as far to suggest that I am making the whole thing up.

"They have no empathy or sympathy. Their customer service is astonishingly bad."

After posting his issue on a facebook group entitled Mayberry Place Taylor Wimpey development, he has received a huge amount of comments of people concerned about flickering lights, getting electric shocks from any items that were plugged in and also live wires that could be touched.

Others reported the smell of burning on their properties and one even reported a burned out wall socket.

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