Couple wee in a bucket over Christmas after drains blocked on new-build estate

A couple has been forced to relieve themselves in buckets after blocked drains on their new-build estate left their toilet out of order.

Kim and Lee Bourton have been plagued by drainage issues since they moved into their home on The Fairways Estate in Cramlington, Northumberland two years ago.

But between Christmas and New Year, the drains became clogged and sewage flooded their home.

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The couple were left without access to a shower or a toilet – leaving them no choice but to use the bucket.

Speaking to The Chronicle, Kim said: “We were meant to be having friends round for New Year's Eve but we can't expect them to use a bucket.”

The pair contracted the emergency number provided but were told they were no longer covered since they had occupied the property for more than two years.

Kim continued: “They already know about this issue and are liable for it. We were told to get a company to clean the drains but it is a problem with the entire estate.

"The one person we managed to contact in the office said there was no one in as the offices were closed over Christmas."

The couple bought their home for £260,000 two years ago, and in that time have reported issues with the drains five times.

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She said: "Last February all the drains became blocked and the sewage was running all over the estate.

"There is an issue when the drains become blocked and it backs up blocking the toilet and drains so we can't use the shower. I feel like it is false promises from Persimmon."

Persimmon temporarily fix the problem on Friday (December 30) but Kim said the drains were overflowing again by New Year's Day.

She said: "The toilets and shower are blocked again. The drain has burst and running into the suds which drain into a pond.

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"They said the pump station is not working. The pump station is fenced off and padlocked and nobody with keys is contactable so no one can access it in an emergency."

A Persimmon spokesperson said: “We were sorry to hear about the difficulties experienced by one of our customers at the Fairways development over the festive period. When our Customer Care team was notified about the problem, a vactor was sent to jet wash and clean the drainage system as quickly as possible.

“We are aware of technical issues with the sewage system at the site and work is ongoing with contractors to develop a long-term solution as quickly as possible.”

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