A NAVY family were so sickened at the state of their military housing they moved hundreds of miles away to west Wales.
Tracy Stinton fled from her married quarters in Owen Close, Rowner, with her three children after suffering for months from crumbling ceilings and walls and mould at the property.
This has been a nightmare ordeal and has put a huge strain on our marriageTracy Stinton
The family have moved to the coastal town of Milford Haven, 249 miles from Gosport in south Wales, leaving husband, Chief Petty Officer Andrew Stinton behind at his base in Portsmouth.
The 38-year-old said she chose to go so far as she needed to get away from this area for a fresh start with children Rhianan, eight, Jasmine 13 and Victoria 16.
But it means the family are only together once or twice a month.
A furious Mrs Stinton said: ‘I feel absolutely disgusted and let down.
‘This has been a nightmare ordeal and has put a huge strain on our marriage.
‘It’s drastic moving but I couldn’t take another day in married quarters.’
Earlier this year Mrs Stinton was rushed to hospital after plaster dust from the gaping holes in her bedroom caused a severe allergic reaction.
Frightened for her health, she left the home in October, staying with relatives, in the hope the holes would be fixed.
But despite appeals from the family to housing contractor CarillionAmey, an exasperated Mrs Stinton claimed she had no choice but to give up on ever returning to her Rowner home.
The issue has outraged Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, who has been lobbying for improved homes for military personnel across the area.
She wrote to defence minister Mark Lancaster, expressing her disdain.
Replying, Mr Lancaster said every effort was being made to improve the state of military housing in the UK.
In a letter to Ms Dinenage, he said he was holding housing contractor CarillionAmey to account and that his office would ‘continue to rigorously monitor the services’ provided by the firm.
Mr Lancaster added: ‘I apologise for the distress that the Stinton family have experienced because of issues with the damage to the roof and ceiling and the understandable concerns of potential asbestos contamination.’
Since the letter arrived, Mr Stinton has been told he can transfer to Bath in the new year, although the family will still only meet once or twice a month.
This is not the first time the family have faced woeful military housing.
In 2005, while living in Charden Road, Gosport, part of the living room ceiling collapsed due to a boiler leak and in 2012, in Plymouth, leaking pipes caused further heartache and misery.
DEFENCE secretary Michael Fallon insists bringing homes for naval families up to scratch is a government priority.
It comes after calls were made for military homes contractor CarillionAmey to be stripped of its multi-billion pound contract from the Ministry of Defence.
Speaking to The News during a trip to Portsmouth, Mr Fallon said the MoD’s new estate strategy, which outlines plans to flog sites including Gosport’s HMS Sultan, to pump cash back into defence, will help pay for better naval accommodation. Mr Fallon said: ‘We do want to see, a better defence estate and better accommodation for our troops; that’s why we have actioned the sale of some old buildings, and we want to sell off old buildings, in order to provide better accommodation for our families and armed men and women.’
Mr Fallon said a review was carried out into the practices of CarillionAmey and the company is being told to improve. The Tory chief said: ‘There has been a review, and we are pushing the contractors very hard now, to improve its response times, to improve their practices.
‘People are serving their country and gone for long periods at sea, it’s only right that when they come home, they shouldn’t have to put up with anything less than the best.’
CarillionAmey bosses have previously said that ‘improving customer service, within the constraints of our contract, is really important to us, and we take any feedback provided by our customers seriously.’