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St Helens homeowner’s battle with utilities firm

Derek Smith from Clock Face, St Helens, is unhappy after United Utilities dug up his �10,000 driveway and botched the repair job, which still has to be rectified

Derek Smith from Clock Face, St Helens, is unhappy after United Utilities dug up his �10,000 driveway and botched the repair job, which still has to be rectified

A St Helens man claims a contractor botched a repair job after sewer works wrecked his new drive.

Derek Smith says he forked out £10,000 to have the driveway of his Gorsey Lane home in Clock Face re-paved in May 2012 before undergoing major heart surgery.

United Utilities then commenced major sewer works in the area less than six months later and promised to fix his drive so it was as good as new.

But Mr Smith, 59, and his wife Bernie are now in dispute with the water firm after being offered just £3,500 to put it right.

He said: “This has been going on for over 14 months now and is making me and my wife ill. United Utilities sent a contractor out to fix our drive - who said he was the best in the country - but he got the colour all wrong and the concrete started cracking the day after it was laid.

“The edges of the drive started breaking off too so we stopped the job half way through. We were absolutely gutted.”

Mr Smith, who plans to ask an independent concrete specialist to scrutinise the repair works, says he now plans to take legal action.

Mark Donaghy, of United Utilities, said: “We are sorry Mr and Mrs Smith’s driveway was damaged while we carried out these important improvements to our sewers, but we promised to make the area look as good, if not better, as it did before.

“Our well respected contractor was asked by the householders to leave site before the work could be finished last summer, even though the resurfacing had been to a high standard. We still don’t know why.”

“We are still speaking to Mr and Mrs Smith and really want to try and get this work completed as soon as possible. There was £3,500-worth of work left to be carried out by our contractors and we have offered to pay this amount for the job to be finished.”

 

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