St Leonards mum appalled by ‘unusable’ new garden

Anna Beck and two of her children in her back garden which they refer to as 'The Mud'
Anna Beck and two of her children in her back garden which they refer to as 'The Mud'

A mother from St Leonards is appalled at the state of the garden of her £235,000 new-build house she bought two years ago.

Anna Beck has watched as her front and back lawns have slowly died off since buying the Etchingham Drive property in January, 2014.

Anna Beck's front garden

Anna Beck's front garden

The single mum-of-four now just has a ‘bog’ outside her home which is ‘completely unusable’.

“Being one of the last families to move in on this stretch of road, I noticed our own lawn beginning to die off this winter,” she said.

“It is now almost completely unusable. My children can’t play outside it’s so boggy.

“Most of my garden is now just mud.

Anna Beck's back garden which started to die after buying the house in January, 2014

Anna Beck's back garden which started to die after buying the house in January, 2014

“My 22-month old has to wear wellies all year round if he is to venture out of the back door.”

Mrs Beck contacted builders Jones Homes to complain about the state of the lawn but was told, ‘it is because we have had a lot of rain’.

The mother questioned this, explaining she could see rubble poking through the mud.

Several families also complained about the lack of terracing – the gardens all slope awkwardly, in opposition to the model sold to them.

Mrs Beck’s eldest son is forced to play football in the road because of ‘The Mud’ and sloping.

Many Etchingham Drive residents have been forced to pay out thousands of pounds themselves to put their gardens right.

Mrs Beck’s next-door neighbour said: “I watched them laying the lawns and they did nothing whatsoever to prepare the compacted ground before laying the turf, so I’m not surprised it died off.”

One Etchingham Drive resident was so disgusted with the state of his garden he began legal action.

After National House Building Council (NHBC) investigated, they found Jones Homes had scrimped on topsoil, meaning the turf would inevitably die-off, as there was nothing but rubble for the grass to bed into.

The NHBC recommended Jones Homes returf the garden adequately as a result.

Unfortunately, Mrs Beck was just three days out of date on her two-year warranty when she contacted NHBC, so was no longer protected.

Jones Homes is currently building a new development in the Robsack area of St Leonards, just around the corner from Mrs Beck.

“I love my house and I feel very fortunate to own a home like this, but the garden is substandard,” she said.

Jones Homes is yet to respond to Mrs Beck’s complaint and the Observer’s request for comment.

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