The shiny brochure for Barratt Homes' "Scholars Walk" development in Kingsbridge, Devon, was seductive. The houses, it purred, were from the company's "award-winning Premier Collection range of house styles" and the location, on the quiet outskirts of a "sheltered medieval town, dating back to the 13th century", could hardly be bettered. But what really made the sale were local facilities, including the fantastic Kingsbridge lower community school just yards away. Erm, would that be the same "Kingsbridge lower community school" that Barratt had demolished to build the evocatively named "Scholars Walk" the previous summer?
Kelvin Tutill, manager director of Barratt Homes Exeter, confirmed the school was not so much a few yards from the homeowners' front doors as a few feet under them. "Our PR people looked up in the Yellow Pages the schools in the area and the school was listed. They didn't notice that we were in fact building on it. It was a genuine mistake and we point it out to anybody who comes to view the houses," says Mr Tutil.