THE discovery of Great Crested Newts on a building site in Mardy, Abergavenny has meant people ready to move into housing association homes there are still waiting - five months after their move-in date.

One prospective resident, speaking to the Argus this week, said she had been given seven different move in dates since she had first been accepted for the house, in Hanratte Close.

But what started out as a confusing situation has now turned into desperation for the woman, who asked not to be named.

She and her family have had to leave the area in which they work and study, and are now living with relatives in Newport, where they sleep on the floor.


"Because of my circumstances, I have no fixed abode and I'm classed as homeless," the woman said. "This [situation] has pushed my mental health through the floor."

The housing association homes are managed by Melin Homes and form part of the much larger Deri Farm development, which is being built by construction firm Persimmon Homes.

The five homes were made available for bidding in the late autumn of 2018, and were supposed to be ready for their new occupants by the end of January 2019.

But each time the move-in date arrives, the woman said, they are pushed back "without any reason".

"They tell me they only get limited information from the housebuilders," she added.

The woman currently travels to Abergavenny every weekday to take her daughter to school, because she is afraid of the repercussions if her attendance levels drop.

This is costing her around £300 each month in petrol, and means she cannot afford to drive back to Newport after completing the school run because the petrol costs would then double.

"Financially, this is crippling me," she said.

Instead of being able to lead a more normal life, she instead he drops her daughter off in the morning, and then has to kill time in Abergavenny each day – often sitting for hours in her car – before collecting her daughter again in the afternoon and driving back to Newport.

She said multiple enquiries and complaints sent to Melin Homes had not resulted in any satisfactory reasons for the delays, nor had she been given a guaranteed move-in date for the home she was allocated in December.

The Argus contacted housing association managers Melin Homes, to ask why there had been so many delays.

In response, Paula Kennedy – chief executive of Melin Homes – said: “We were allocated new homes as part of a section 106 agreement with Persimmon, who are developing their site at Deri Farm.

"Programmed works have not been completed by the developer and completion dates have been missed on a number of occasions.

"We have every sympathy and appreciate that these delays have been very difficult for the person concerned, but we cannot hand over a home which is not ready."

Ms Kennedy said the firm would "continue to discuss with Persimmon to make sure the works are completed as soon as possible".

Persimmon Homes said that they were battlign against the impact of WPD work being carried out to ground overhead cables, as well as Great crested Newts.

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes East Wales said: “The unexpected discovery of Great Crested Newts at this site has caused significant complications and constraints. In addition we are working within the ongoing constraint of WPD grounding the overheard electric pylons through our development which will be complete by the end of British Summer Time.

“These constraints has led to a six month build delay which has impacted the delivery of both our private and HA customers.

“We apologise to those customers who have been affected. We want to ensure our properties are fully complete when we hand them over, including the surrounding environment.

“We will speak to this customer and our RSL partner to finalise a move in date and to see where we can assist with issues that have arisen as a result of these delays.

“We are committed to providing quality accommodation across South Wales and are on course to complete all 49 affordable properties at this site ahead of schedule by the end of this year.”