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Consett couple left without a sink for 12 months after Pennine refurb

A County Durham man is STILL washing his dishes in the bath 12 MONTHS after builders left them with no sink.

Bryan and Alison Simpson bought their new home in Consett in February 2021 and hired well-known local firm Pennine that October to build an extension to house their dream kitchen.

But the £20k renovations which were due to take four weeks dragged on and the couple have now been left living in a “building site” for more than a year, and washing their dishes in the bath for 12 months this week.

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Bryan, a 62-year-old bus driver, told The Northern Echo: “The work still isn’t finished and we’re still washing our dishes in the bath – it’ll be exactly a year on Tuesday (January 24).

The Northern Echo: Bryan previously described the chore as back-breaking.Bryan previously described the chore as back-breaking. (Image: STUART BOULTON)

“We went for Pennine because we knew the name and thought they’re a reputable company, but we wish we never had.

“We’ve not heard from them in months and the work still isn’t complete.”

The couple first spoke to The Echo in September last year, when a leaking stopcock in the floor meant it would have to be dug up and re-laid.

Bryan, whose wife Alison works in the NHS, added: “They’ve moved the stopcock now and the floor has been re-laid but the delay meant we had to send out new kitchen units back to the supplier because the fitters couldn’t keep storing them. That’s why we’ve got no ham and are still having to do the dishes in the bath.

The Northern Echo: A leaking stopcock had to be moved from where it was in the concrete floor slab.A leaking stopcock had to be moved from where it was in the concrete floor slab. (Image: STUART BOULTON)

“We’re eventually getting them delivered at the end of January and will be able to get them fitted, more than a year later than planned.

“It’s just been a nightmare.

“We’ve not been in the house two years but we’ve already said that we’re going to sell when the work is finished – it’s not a home for us now, it’s just a house.”

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Pennine has admitted that the works took longer than planned, but said all plumbing works on its part have now been completed.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Upon commencement of the installation an old stop cock was found to be hidden behind a wall that was due to be removed, under the existing kitchen sink.

The Northern Echo:

“We advised the customer that this would need to be removed and that it was not part of the originally planned works, as per the technical survey agreed and signed by the customer.

“The customer refused to arrange and pay for the works to be carried out in order for ourselves to begin the remainder of the build. After a complete impasse, and in order to have the build completed, Pennine agreed to carry out these non-contracted works, and bear the cost of them.

“However, the complexities of the works involved have caused a delay in sourcing a plumbing sub-contractor to take on the works involved; nevertheless, this also requires complex scheduling of other works to be carried out following the plumbing works, in which we are currently processing.”

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