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in Problem solving
I agree. I've just laid a new lawn and the preparation took forever. It sounds like the builders have left a mess below the top soil. You are going to have to dig down and investigate as there could be several reasons for the problem. The most likely will be compaction of the soil due to heavy machinery during the house building- digging down at least 9" and incorporating sand if the soil is heavy will be needed. Don't bring the sub soil to the surface as this will give you more problems but prick the clay sub soil with a fork (full depth of the fork) if you can. Remove any builders' rubble, stones etc as you go.