DOZENS of owners of new-build houses across Swindon have come to the Adver to tell how snow came in through their roofs, with drifts building up inside lofts and water dripping through into rooms below.

If follows our report last week into one home at St Andrew’s Ridge that was water damaged during the bad weather.

Homes built by many of the country’s biggest housing developers have experienced the problems, with homeowners saying they have received no help in addressing the problem in the long-term.

Indoor heaps of snow, sodden insulation and stains appearing on ceilings have been widespread problems on estates across the town, including Wichelstowe, St Andrew’s Ridge, Tadpole Garden Village and Badbury Park.

The developments were built by companies including Barratt Homes, Persimmon Homes, David Wilson Homes, Charles Church and Taylor Wimpey.

All say the problems were caused by the recent extreme weather conditions, with some saying they are unable to take action, and others advising homeowners to contact their customer service teams.

Chelsea Hardie, 26, a mortgage manager who lives with her husband in Holne Road in Wichelstowe, said: “We moved into our Barratt Home in March 2012.

“We have had considerable issues with our roof – it bangs in the wind. The tiles, which have fake slate on them, lift up and bang down. This has been going on for years.

“Obviously then, last week, we had the snow, and there was so much snow inside the loft that we could see it piled up.

“It defrosted and then it came through the ceiling as well. We have had to pull out about six full wheelie bin liners full of insulation that was sodden.”

Chelsea, who bought her three-bed detached house for £190,000, said that when she wrote to Barratt, she received a reply which was almost identical to that supplied to the Adver last week when we first reported the issue, She described it as a “cut-and-paste job”.

She has now written again to Barratt, as well as the National House-Building Council and the Financial Ombudsman, to pursue the issue.

It is not the first time they have had water come through the roof, she said.

“We had one previous issue about four years ago, and Barratt rectified it by shoving a teatowel in there.

“I’ve had two private, independent roofers come out, and they have each given me a price for repairing the issue.

“It’s between £1,000 and £1,500 just to sort that area – but what really needs to happen is for the roof to be replaced.”

In Badbury Park, PE teacher and takeaway owner Jamie Pidgeon, 24, who lives with his partner in Polesdon Avenue, said: “Every year since we’ve moved into our house, we’ve had issues with mould growing on our ceilings, in the en-suite and the bedrooms.

“This is our third year here, and every year they just say it’s condensation, and tell us to ‘open the windows, let air through’. Our neighbours have it as well.

“Then, last week, they went up into their loft and said they had loads of snow in there. So I went up to have a look at ours, and soon as I opened the hatch, water just fell onto me, like a shower.

“If you look up in the loft, you can see sunlight coming through where the ridge of the roof is.”

Another homeowner, in a Charles Church house in St Andrew’s Ridge, told a similar story: “I noticed a wet patch on Sunday – I’ve been in the house two years.

“I contacted Charles Church, which says that it thinks it’s because of fine snow and driving wind, not an actual issue with the roof, but that they’ll ‘make good’ the issue in time – yet to be seen.”

The MP for North Swindon, Justin Tomlinson, who has been vocal on the subject of the quality of new houses in the area, said last week: “Reports of poor quality builds are a disgrace. Hard-working people have paid good money for their own homes and shoddy, slap-dash work is totally unacceptable.

“I have raised this issue in parliament, and I welcome the government commitment to bring in stronger powers to protect the consumer. These powers can’t come soon enough.”

A spokesman for Barratt Homes, which also owns David Wilson Homes, said: “We sincerely apologise that this has occurred, and for any associated inconvenience, but this is a temporary condition based on the severity of recent weather conditions.

“The extreme wind and fineness of the snow meant that snow has made its way through vents into the roofs. The vents are installed in order to comply with building regulations and as such the homes affected by the snow were not defective in any way. Therefore, under these circumstances, it is with regret that we are unable to take any further action regarding this issue.”

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Wessex, which owns Charles Church, said: “We are aware that a number of our customers have had problems with snow in their attics following last week’s bad weather.

“We are reassuring customers that there is no defect with their properties. This has occurred due to a very rare combination of high winds and fine snow.

“The snow has been blown into the building through the eaves and ridge ventilation, which have to be in place to prevent condensation.

“We are working with homeowners affected and customers are advised to contact their home insurance supplier.”

A Taylor Wimpey Oxfordshire spokesman said: “During the extreme weather conditions, some of our customers called to report snow in the attic. By design our roof spaces are ventilated to allow for a cross flow of air.

“Unfortunately the combination of high winds and cold temperatures during Storm Emma meant fine snow was able to penetrate the roof spaces, causing water damage to ceilings as the snow melted. We would advise customers to contact our customer service team.”