24/01/08 Stranded


A Family living with a flooded garden for four years say they are trapped because no-one will buy their house.
Father-of-two Michael Ham says his garden has been almost permanently flooded since he moved in and the house has also suffered major damage from constant immersion.

The family spent nine months in rented accommodation while the foundations of the home in Fiskerton, near Lincoln, were redug, but still the problems have not stopped, says operating theatre practitioner Mr Ham.

 “My children have not been able to play on the lawn since we bought the house. It’s been a nightmare,” he said.

“I just want to move but obviously we can’t sell it and the developers won’t buy it back from us so we are stuck.”

Mr Ham (44) and wife Geraldine acquired the £172,500 newly built house in 2003. The couple have two children, Teagan (three) and Kailen (eight).

The house is one of around 75 built by developer Morris Homes around the village’s Asholt Close.

“We moved in in December 2003, and in January 2004 it snowed,” said Mr Ham. “As soon as the snow melted all the run-off from the field behind us flooded into our garden.

“At its highest the water was several inches deep but the garden has been completely waterlogged for four years now.

“Within a year the concrete floor in the kitchen began to lift, as it had been damaged by all the water.

“After I had paid for solicitors and engineers Morris Homes admitted there was a problem and said they would replace the concrete.”

The Hams then spent nine months in rented accommodation while the foundations were re-dug but when they moved back in, they said, the underlying problem was still there.

Mr Ham added: “Apparently there used to be a drainage ditch between the field and the plot where my house is now but the builders filled it in.

“This has just been going on for so long and we seem to be no nearer to any solution. One of the major reasons we bought the house was that it had a garden for the children but they have never been able to play on the grass.

“I am at my wits’ end.”

Sarah Shimwell, spokesman for Morris Homes, said: “We are working with Mr Ham to resolve matters to his satisfaction as soon as possible.”