VIDEO: Cracks in home put young couple’s life on hold

A young couple have been forced to put plans to expand their family on hold after cracks have appeared in the walls of their first home.

Michael and Laura Bland, who moved into their brand new Taylor Wimpey home in 2005, said that their house was built with the wrong foundations.

Michael Bland and daughter Alicia, 13 months, and the cracks appearing in their Taylor Wimpey home in Ilkeston.

Michael Bland and daughter Alicia, 13 months, and the cracks appearing in their Taylor Wimpey home in Ilkeston.

As a result, the home in Malthouse Road is pulling away from their neighbour’s house, causing cracks to appear in both properties and creating a widening gap between them.

This video was made by Mr Bland and uploaded on to YouTube.

To rectify the problem, new foundations will have to be put in, forcing the couple and their 13-month-old daughter Alicia to move into temporary accommodation for six months.

The firm has offered just £115,000 to buy them out – £15,000 less than four independent evaluations they have had from local estate agents.

“It’s messing our lives up,” said Mr Bland, a firefighter at East Midlands Airport.

“We would like children that are not too far apart in age but we can’t do that because this house isn’t big enough.

“We’ve been actively looking to move out for two years but this has stopped us.

“We’re both really stressed and worn out from it all.”

He said his child protection officer wife Laura, 31, is on anxiety tablets because of the stress of the situation, which has lasted since 2010, when the cracks first appeared.

“She’s getting more and more anxious because we don’t know what’s going to happen,” added Mr Bland, 30.

Next-door neighbour Richard Austin has similar cracks along walls appearing.

“Our gas main runs between the houses so you don’t know what could happen,” he said. “It’s just shoddy.”

There are now fears that other homes in the Maltings estate could be affected by the same problems – In 2010 the Advertiser spoke to Lee Larkin and Kirsty Abbotts, whose house on the same street was crumbling around them.

Mr Bland said he knows of at least four other homes on the estate with foundation problems.

The couple have taken to protesting at Taylor Wimpey’s latest Ilkeston development at Briar’s Chase, off Heanor Road.

They have brought along placards and handed leaflets out to potential home-buyers warning them about the problems at their ‘nightmare’ home.

Dominic Harman, managing director for Taylor Wimpey East Midlands said: “We are sorry that Mr Bland has problems with the foundations of his home and we have offered him a range of possible solutions, which we regret he has so far declined to consider.

“Our genuine offers of assistance currently remain available to him and we are in open dialogue with Mr Bland in trying to work with him towards a resolution.

“The property’s original foundations were installed at the correct depth and were approved by the National House-Building Council (NHBC), but unfortunately since then a combination of external factors has resulted in unexpected ground movement, which could never have been foreseen.

“Mr Bland’s home is covered by a ten-year NHBC warranty and under this warranty he is able to have the necessary fully identified works completed to his reasonable satisfaction, with no cost to him or his family. Once completed, we believe Mr Bland would then incur no problems selling his home on the open market.”