Family firm devastated after vandals splatter tar over new homes

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and c

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and creosote all over walls, windows and doors. David Wilan. Pictures : BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

A couple who run a Norfolk building firm have been left shocked after vandals sprayed thick, black liquid over two newly built houses.

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and c

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and creosote all over walls, windows and doors. Pictures : BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Sue and Nicholas Willan were awoken by a phone call saying that overnight someone had splattered creosote and bitumen up the walls, windows and doors of two homes they had almost finished building in Reepham.

The couple, who live in Cawston and run ND Willan Construction which has been going for 44 years, informed the police and are claiming on their insurance.

But they fear the incident, which occurred between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, may cause the prospective buyers of one of the damaged homes to pull out. They said the liquids used were very difficult to remove, seeping into the brickwork. The couple are convinced the vandals knew what they were doing and it was not a random act.

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Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and c

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and creosote all over walls, windows and doors. Pictures : BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

The criminals struck at a small new site of eight houses being built by the Willans in Abbs Close, off School Road, in the quiet pretty village. Half of the development has been sold and is occupied.


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“We’re so upset, my husband hasn’t good health and I am a retired nurse who’s gone back to work to help out the NHS,” Mrs Willan, company secretary, said.

“Our son is in Afghanistan in the army and we have a lot on right now. The houses were nearly finished, the fronts were in and the gardens and these vandals took the fencing down and put bitumen and creosote all over the new windows, doors and sprayed it over the walls which is so damaging. I can’t believe in times of Covid, when we’re all trying to pull together, that someone would do this.

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“They knew what they were doing. We are insured but that isn’t the point, Nearby residents were astounded, why would someone do this to us?”

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and c

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and creosote all over walls, windows and doors. Pictures : BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Mr Willan, aided in the business by son David, bought the plot which was formerly a garage around four years ago. He is a heritage building specialist, currently working on Norwich Cathedral.

“No one objected to the new homes,” said Mrs Willan. “When we heard, my husband just went white, but we are a calm family and I said ‘just go for a walk, don’t worry’.” Mr Willan made local headlines back in 2014 when he transformed a Victorian toilet block on Sheringham promenade into a sleek holiday home called The Wee Retreat.

A Norfolk police spokeswoman said: “We received a report of criminal damage – tar had been poured over the brickwork, ground, fencing and doors of a new property in School Road, Reepham. Officers have visited the location and we are investigating.”

Any witnesses or anyone with information should contact Norfolk police on 101 quoting investigation ref 36/80592/20. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and c

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and creosote all over walls, windows and doors. Pictures : BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and c

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and creosote all over walls, windows and doors. Pictures : BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and c

Family run business, ND Willan Construction found new homes in Reepham vandalised with bitumen and creosote all over walls, windows and doors. Pictures : BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

The new homes being built in Reepham. Pic: William H Brown

The new homes being built in Reepham. Pic: William H Brown - Credit: Archant

The new homes being built in Reepham. Pic: William H Brown

The new homes being built in Reepham. Pic: William H Brown - Credit: Archant

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