When Robyn and Garry Pomfrett moved into their newly built home on Anchorage Parade, Shell Cove five years ago, the retired couple thought it was to be their forever home.
The couple had purchased off the plan, and one of the first residents to move in to their part of Shell Cove, developed by Shellharbour Council in partnership with property developer Frasers.
But even before their neighbours' properties were completed, they were finding defects in their build, and asking builders who were on site to fix their home, even as others were being built.
Five years on, and with a litany of faults from leaking windows, cracked tiles and replaced balconies, the Pomfretts have had enough, and are part of a growing number of Shell Cove residents frustrated with the quality of the build of their homes.
In some streets, every third terrace has scaffolding out the front, to enable workers to repair leaky roofs.
The stand three doors up from the Pomfretts has been there since January, blocking their neighbour's access to their garage.
In other homes, privacy balconies have simply fallen off, replaced with plywood as a temporary screen, and water staining can be seen underneath balconies still attached.
Other residents talk about having their entire home's cladding replaced, or all the screws from a home replaced because the wrong ones were put in initially.
The issues with waterproofing that the Pomfretts had seen occurring since they moved in came to a head in the wet weather of 2022. A leak in the skylight led to water getting into the stairwell in the centre of the house and mould can still be seen in a storage cupboard on the underside of the bottom of the stairwell.
"We had the balcony redone twice, and then upstairs we could hear water dripping," Mrs Pomfrett said.
"Water is leaking down these walls, and you can't see it unless you run your hand on the wall and the wall starts to bulge."
Each time, the couple have found a fault why put through a claim with the developer, which covers the cost of the repairs, however the constant strain of rectification is taking a toll.
"It is so frustrating to see things that we thought were finished [need to be repaired]," Mrs Pomfrett said.
It's not the first time former Shellharbour councillor Peter Moran has heard these complaints.
In 2021, he took the concerns of some residents to council, however was told by council officers that the number of defects he had identified was not out of line with the average across new developments.
"I was somewhat surprised, but you've got to accept what council officers say," Mr Moran told The Mercury on Monday.
"I was concerned there were people out there who hadn't contacted me, in which case that would suggest that there was a problem greater than council officers had indicated. But I had no idea how many people had faulty homes."
A spokesperson for Frasers property said a design issue with the external facade interface of some homes at Shell Cove between roofing and cladding was found during adverse weather.
"Frasers Property is undertaking a program to remediate this issue in line with updated manufacturer specifications," the spokesperson said.
"We are liaising with all our affected customers as the program progresses and are committed to resolving these issues."
Frasers did not respond to questions about how many houses this affected and when works are expected to be completed.
Mr Moran said the new claims vindicated the suspicions he had two years ago, and raise questions of Shellharbour Council.
"Council should have been concerned about the quality of the builds that they were being associated with and the reputational damage," he said.
"If I'd bought a house off Shellharbour Council - who was supposed to be the certifying authority - and they can't even get their own builds right, what confidence does it give the community?"
Shellharbour Council has been developing the Shell Cove project with its commercial partner Frasers Property since 1993. The last 66 blocks of land in the 'peninsula precinct' are being released to the market next month.
A council spokesperson said that the local authority was aware of remediation works being carried out by Frasers Property.
"Frasers Property Australia are liaising directly with all affected customers," the spokesperson said.
"Council is in regular contact with Frasers Property Australia about home warranty works and understand that customers may be frustrated with delays to expected timeframes."
Having purchased their home due to being close to shops, medical centres and family, and with Garry currently battling cancer, the Pomfretts have decided that enough is enough.
"We've actually put a deposit down on another home," Mr Pomfrett said.
"We're hoping by the build of this house," Mrs Pomfrett said, "these problems will be resolved much before then."
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