A NEW home owner in Helensburgh says her property dream has turned into a nightmare due to severe drainage problems in her garden.

Nicole Andrews and her boyfriend were “very excited” to move from a flat into a newly-built semi-detached house in Hermitage Grange, where the former Hermitage Academy was located, in November.

But the couple fear they, and the owners of six other properties nearby, could be left thousands of pounds out of pocket after an old access road for the Taylor Wimpey construction site was discovered under the soil in their back gardens.

“I’ve contacted Taylor Wimpey many times since we moved in to say I think there’s a bigger issue”, Nicole told the Advertiser.

“Their own drainage contractor even said there is severe pooling of water that requires way more attention.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Nicole's back garden is suffering from poor drainageNicole's back garden is suffering from poor drainage

“They offered drains to be put in for the first three metres from the house, but that would mean we couldn’t lay a patio as they refuse to bury them deep enough.

“That’s counter-productive as most people assume in their garden they can have a patio and grass.

“We’ll never be able to have real grass or plants with the way it is just now as they would drown with nowhere for the water to go.”

Nicole says the whole experience has been “disappointing” and the current set-up does not comply with NHBC (National House Building Council) standards, which state that there should be at least 10cm of top soil, 20cm of subsoil and that the ground should be adequately prepared up to 45cm, for a new build property.

The 172 metres square area is filled with ‘Type 1’ road material - bricks, wood and other rubble - below around 15cm of soil, causing severe water pooling and resulting in poor or no drainage.

Helensburgh Advertiser: 'Type 1' road material has been discovered under the soil'Type 1' road material has been discovered under the soil

Taylor Wimpey gardeners have rotavated the plot twice, pulling out some of the debris but failing to solve the issues, and Nicole says she and some of her neighbours have been left with a barren, muddy mess and no sign of a solution.

Houses are still being built at the Hermitage Grange site, but Nicole claimed the developers, who have also revealed plans for 300 new homes on land owned by the town’s golf club, had been “ignoring all complaints” until the Advertiser got involved.

Nicole added: “All I need is for Taylor Wimpey to dig up the old road, which is the Type 1 material, and leave me with proper soil to allow us to have a normal garden in which water doesn’t pool.

“If they refuse to do anything we’ll never be able to have real grass, so we’d either need to pay to get the road removed ourselves - which would be a big task as the machinery required to do that will not fit in our new gate and fence we paid over £1,000 for - or pay to have artificial grass installed which won’t die.

“Either way this is going to be thousands and thousands for us to fix due to the size of the garden.

Neighbour Gemma Mackay also moved in in November with her husband, and the young couple say they are “beyond disappointed” at their garden situation.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Gemma says water pooling in her back garden could become a health hazardGemma says water pooling in her back garden could become a health hazard

Gemma said: “My husband and I were over the moon to buy our first property in November.

“At 23 we have both worked very hard to be able to buy ourselves our semi-detached family home so young.

“We brought the garden to the attention of the site right away, stating that the drainage is really bad and that it’s filled with rubble and debris - so far in one small spot of digging we’ve found a sandbag and wet cement, however, Taylor Wimpey haven’t been helpful in trying to resolve the issue.

“My house is next to Nicole’s which means there’s a slope from her garden into mine, resulting in mine being more of a mess all over.

“We’ve had 30cm deep puddles that haven’t drained away in a week, which is a heath concern with stagnant water.

“We’ve had gardeners come out to assess the damage and quotes are upwards of £9,000 to fix the drainage issues before even starting the landscaping work as the hiring of heavy machinery is a big dent in the budget.

READ MORE: More details revealed on Taylor Wimpey Helensburgh homes plan

“We are beyond disappointed. We feel we have been reasonable and provided Taylor Wimpey with solutions - such as, if they are willing to do 3m of drainage, can it be 3m from where our future patio would end, so it would be under the grass and help, rather than being pointless under a patio?

“All of our money went into buying the house. We were due to have a big wedding in July but Covid meant it was postponed several times before we did a small ceremony.

“The money we didn’t spend then we decided to invest in our future, buying something that we have room to grow our family in.

“We’d like the garden issue to be resolved as soon as possible so that we have the patio done and then when restrictions ease to allow outside visits from my family, who I haven’t seen since my wedding in September.

“At this rate we’ll all be standing outside knee deep in soggy mud.”

A spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland said: “We are aware of the concerns raised this week by a customer at our Hermitage Grange development in Helensburgh, and we can confirm that we are working hard to resolve matters as quickly as possible.”

The Advertiser understands that a further garden inspection was completed on Wednesday, and the Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said that if an issue was identified then the company “will remediate”.

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