Father’s anger after family is forced to live on a building site in Nash Mills

A dad of three has hit out at a housing developer which has left his family no choice but to live on a building site.

Paul Lester and wife Mandy moved into a new three-storey town house on the unfinished Nash Mills Wharf estate in Hemel Hempstead in April last year with children Ben, 15, Ethan, 13, and Talia, 10.

Homeowner Paul Lester with daughter Talia, 10, and the view from their front door on the Nash Mills Wharf development in Hemel Hempstead

Homeowner Paul Lester with daughter Talia, 10, and the view from their front door on the Nash Mills Wharf development in Hemel Hempstead

When they bought the house, the Lesters were assured that the development – a joint venture by Crest Nicholson and Linden Homes – would be completed in 18 months to two years.

However 18 months on, Paul said the company hasn’t made any attempt to finish the building work and his children’s bedrooms still look out onto a pile of rubble, weeds and a dirty ditch.

Music journalist Paul, 40, said: “My children will have spent their entire childhood on a building site. By the time it’s finished, they will have left home.

“It’s grim, really. We were lied to, and there’s been no attempt to make life palatable here. We look out onto what looks like a prison yard.”

“We were told there would be a park for the children in 2012, and there were promises of boulevards and piazzas. Weeks and weeks go by without them touching a brick.”

Paul has had numerous email exchanges and meetings with Crest Nicholson but said no explanation had been given for the delays.

A spokesperson for Crest Nicholson said: “During the purchasing process, our sales team provide buyers with the very latest information on build time lines.

“However, it is always communicated that dates are not guaranteed as build schedules do occasionally change, especially with developments on the scale of Nash Mills Wharf, which is a joint venture partnership.

“Changing market conditions have led the partnership to alter elements of the scheme, as a result of which additional updated planning approvals have had to be obtained which has led to a change to the build programme.

“The partnership remains absolutely committed to delivering the development to the very highest standards and we are pleased to confirm that construction work at Nash Mills Wharf is due to recommence in September.”