A HOUSEBUILDER says its customers in Inverclyde have nothing to worry about after a BBC investigation raised fire safety concerns about properties built by the company.

Persimmon Homes - who built Kingston Dock - today reassured homeowners following claims made in a recent Watchdog documentary.

The programme found that some new-builds constructed by the company and another housebuilder were sold with missing or incorrectly installed fire barriers, which are designed to prevent a blaze from spreading.

But Persimmon insist hundreds of checks have been carried out across the country and '100 per cent' have come back with a clean bill of health.

The company's local developments include hundreds of private properties in Kingston Dock estate and the nearby social houses at Lower Mary Street in Port Glasgow, which were built on behalf of housing association Link Group.

A Persimmon spokesperson said: "In October last year Persimmon established that in a number of timber frame properties in its south west region, cavity barriers were missing or installed incorrectly during construction. "As soon as the issue came to light the group launched an investigation to identify the extent of the problem and to immediately rectify any affected properties. "This should not have happened and Persimmon has apologised to all affected homeowners and assured them that it is doing everything it can to rectify the issue swiftly.

"While the focus of the investigation has been on the south west where the majority of Persimmon's timber frame properties are built, to be confident that it knows the extent of the issue the group is carrying out sample inspections in the other Persimmon operating businesses which utilise timber frame construction, including its Scottish business.

"Persimmon Homes Scotland has performed 854 inspections and, to date, 100 per cent of those inspections have confirmed that the cavity barrier in question has been installed correctly. "The inspections programme is continuing and will follow the evidence - if these inspections indicate that there is a need to expand the programme then the business will do so."

Port councillor Jim MacLeod says he is relieved that local properties appear to be perfectly safe.

He said: "I was concerned, as I am sure others may have been been, after seeing the report about this on the BBC.

"It is good news to hear that in almost a thousand inspections in other sampled Persimmon-built properties it has been confirmed that the cavity barrier in question has been installed correctly."

The company has now set up a national helpline for any homeowner who has concerns and who would like to arrange an inspection.

Phone 0800 915 0980 for more information.