Residents of waterside flats endure temperatures as high as deserts of India
RESIDENTS have been left "sweltering" in their own homes – in temperatures matching those of India's desert regions.
Zac Printer and Kerry Woollard both own apartments at Phoenix Quay, Linden Homes' development in Millbay.
Since moving into the new builds both said that even with the windows open and heating off they had experienced temperatures reaching up to 33C – the average summer temperature of Jaisalmer in Rajastan, India.
In fact for these residents, the heating never has to go on because the stifling heat has never dropped below 23 C, making life "unbearable".
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"I find it hard to sleep and can't ever have any of the covers on as it's so hot," said Zac's 21-year-old son Alex, who lives at the flat.
Zac, who bought the property for £117,000 18 months ago, said he felt he'd been "ripped off" after making several complaints to the developers, who had since put cladding on pipes, which made "little" difference, they said.
When The Herald visited the property yesterday a temperature of 26.5 C was recorded – similar to the heat in Ankara, Turkey, right now.
Alex added: "I generally have to wear shorts and t-shirts round the house, having to get changed each time I go out the front door and I have to keep water in the fridge as it comes out the tap warm."
He said chocolate biscuits came out of cupboards "sticky" and food had a short life span, if kept out of the fridge.
The high temperature meant he could never close the windows and therefore had to live with the "constant" noise from the street.
This had made studying hard for the graduate who is currently working towards exams to join the Royal Navy.
Kerry, who owns a flat on the same floor, said she couldn't leave chocolate bars out as they "melted" and bread went off quickly, so she kept it in the fridge.
"I cannot leave any of the doors or windows closed when I go out as when I return it's roasting," said the 27-year-old woman who is in the Royal Navy.
"I have to sleep with the windows open and it's really noisy round here."
She said she was so unhappy she'd put the flat on the market.
Zac Printer, a police officer, said he believed the heat was coming from hot water pipes in the walls which were constantly on.
"I feel very disappointed and have asked if Linden Homes will buy the property back off me but of course they won't. You can't live like this."
Linden Homes confirmed that in the first two years of ownership they were required to carry out repairs at no cost to the homeowner.
After Zac informed the NHBC (National House-Builder's Council) of the on-going problems they sent round an engineer who recorded a temperature of 28C inside the apartment when it was 23C outside, he said.
The NHBC told The Herald they sent a list of recommendations to Linden Homes.
A spokesperson for the NHBC said: "In Mr Printer's case, NHBC has visited the home and we have instructed the builder to carry out work to deal with the problems. We understand that the builder has carried out some work to the home and we have remained in contact with Mr Printer."
They added that following a conversation with him last week they were arranging a further visit to establish what steps now need to be taken to ensure the problem was "resolved satisfactorily" for him.
Tim Douglass, Linden Homes South West, Production Director, said: "Having explored several options with our consultants to address the issue, we have since completed significant additional insulation and ventilation works both internally and externally, most of which is not visible.
"During this period we have also had the opportunity to monitor the works impact and as a result have recorded a significant reduction for the internal temperature."
They said they would continue to work with the NHBC and independent specialists to ensure the homes met their required technical standards.
Zac said he had also got Plymouth City Council's Environmental Health team involved.
A Plymouth City Council spokesperson said: "We have been contacted about this matter and are investigating the issue with the owner of the building."