A FAMILY'S plan to buy a dream new home in the Cotswolds has been left in tatters - after they visited and were confronted with nothing more than a building site.
Jane and Anco van Velsen (corr), along with their teenage sons Max and Alex, picked the new-build plot in Upper Rissington, near Bourton-on-the-Water, with the aim of moving in by last November.
But having visited Bovis Homes' Victory Fields development, on former Ministry of Defence land, last month they discovered only the foundations were in place.
And they were devastated to be told they would have to wait up to a year longer than promised to move in.
The family, currently living in Witney, says bosses warned them they might not be able to move in until at least September, resulting in the van Velson's withdrawing their contract.
Bovis has apologised, saying it was confronted with a "rare and unfortunate situation".
However, Mrs van Velsen, aged 49, says the incident has left their credit rating damaged and facing house prices higher than when they began their search.
The family also had trouble securing the 10 to 15 per cent deposit required by most lenders as part of the government's Help To Buy scheme.
They exchanged contracts in mid-2013, handed over their deposit and were given a moving-in date of November.
But delays saw that date pushed back to December, then January, March and finally September 2014.
They spoke to a site manager who told them building had stopped as a 33 000-watt electrical cable was found running through the area which needed to be made safe before construction could continue.
They decided to withdraw from its contract, receiving a full refund of its deposit, but says its credit rating has been damaged.
"This is a rare and unfortunate situation and we have apologised to the family for the upset caused by them being unable to move into the new home," said a Bovis spokesman.
"An unforeseen change to the build programme means that a new access road for construction traffic has to be built, following the demolition of some old aircraft hangars, and, as a result, for health and safety reasons, the area of the development where the family’s new home was can now no longer be inhabited until this September.
"We have done our utmost to communicate openly and honestly with the family during this frustrating time and of course accept that they are not prepared to wait until September and have fully refunded their deposit and reservation fee."