We live on nightmare newbuild estate where 30 homes will be bulldozed – we fears ours are next because of cracks | The Sun

RESIDENTS living next to a nightmare newbuild estate where 30 homes are being bulldozed have told how they'll fear their homes could be next.

The homes in Darwin Green, Cambridgeshire, are covered in deep cracks, according to those who paid between £575,00 and £850,000 for them in 2019.

Barratt and David Wilson Homes, responsible for the 1,593 new homes, claim they're safe.

But it comes after developers have been told to bulldoze their neighbour's homes after "shocking" problems were found with their foundations.

The developers have now given extended warranties to those already living on the development in a bid to ease their concerns.

But they're still worried.

Read More on Property


Inside Sex Education’s iconic house as property hits market


Property guru Phil Spencer on three things to always focus on when buying a home

Daz Mahase, who lives in one of the social housing blocks with his wife and two young children, was examining the cracks in his block, one of several dedicated to social housing on the site.

The 34-year-old taxi driver told Sun Online: “You can’t help but worry.

“Look at it. I don’t think this should be there. These were only built in 2019 so they shouldn’t be cracking up already.

“We were assured that we had nothing to worry about but we live right above these cracks. I will have to report them.

Most read in Money


Heinz is launching a new sauce based on classic condiment – it’s dividing fans


British Gas branded ‘callous’ over change to energy bills


I’ve made £4k selling on second-hand clothes from somewhere you’d never think of


Everything to know about energy bill changes TODAY including free cash grant

“Our experience has not been good. We love the area but we were promised a house inspection by the landlords when we moved in before Covid but we are still waiting.”

Another resident in the block, who did not want to be named, added: “I find it hard to sleep at night knowing there is a problem with this development and seeing these cracks in the brickwork.

“We are all tenants in this block and I don’t think we get the same attention that the home owners do.”

Lecturer Steven Bateman, 41, who lives nearby, said: “This development was such a good idea – a mix of private and social housing creating a properly diverse community.

“The social housing block has cracks visible on the outside and it is the same in the bike rooms they provide. These cracks go from the top to the bottom. It is very worrying indeed.”

Others who moved into their properties during Phase One of three phases, have been assured that there is nothing for them to worry about but they all struggle to believe the builders.

Pest control manager Andrew Hay, 56, said: “It’s a massive concern about the foundations.

"We have been assured our buildings are safe and do not have the same problems but you can’t help worrying.

“They have built houses that have been cleared and now they are having to tear them down.

"My hope is that our house is OK because it was built in 2019 whereas those they are having to demolish were all built post-Covid when I suspect they were rushing and trying to cut costs.”

His three-storey, four bedroom house, sits immediately next to a row of condemned houses, separated only by a wooden fence.

He added: “What is the environmental impact going to be on my two children?

“How much dust are they going to be breathing in when those homes are demolished?

“When they were putting up those houses it felt like a mini-earthquake in our home and now we have to go through it all again.

“The developers’ response has been glib. It beggars belief that their customer service is so poor. They have made so much money and this is a total and utter disgrace.

“By now we were supposed to have a park, a supermarket, allotments, a health centre, a school but we have none of these.”

The builders have said they will salvage the roofs, windows and doors from the properties they need to take down and then crush the concrete on site to reuse it.

The prospect is frightening for Christian Sutherland, 43, whose four-year-old son Cameron needs a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe.

The software engineer said: “The amount of dust that will be thrown up is scary. We are just getting settled in here and really like the community but this does not fill us with confidence.

“We have been offered a longer warranty – an extra 15 years on top of the existing 10 but are concerned by the lack of checks.

“How did the houses they are now knocking down ever get as far as being built? This should be basic stuff to a house builder.

“It seems to me like on big developments councils are taking a back seat and allowing private companies to have all the responsibilities.

“They are driven by profit so it is not a safe situation.’ 

A 38-year-old researcher, who asked not to be named, added: “First it was 36 homes, then 54, now over 80.

"We have filed a complaint to Barratt Homes asking for the structural details of the existing homes.

“It is so disappointing. It is a beautiful development and by now we were supposed to have facilities like a supermarket, a park, a school but the park is still a building site and we are years behind.”

Daniel Welby, 33, an HR analyst, said: “I feel very sorry for those who were just about to move into these properties. Some people were just days away from moving in.

“It is a worrying situation because no matter how much they assure us, this is the reputation of the estate now so if we wanted to sell, would this put people off?”

Mark Wells, 61, a finance broker who paid £650,000 for his four-bed home, said: “It did worry us to start with but they got a third party to come and do a report on these houses and they said that all the phase one homes are OK.

“The affected houses had big cracks straight away. Some of the families who were due to move in had already exchanged contracts but not completed when they found out. It will cause a lot of suffering because chains will be affected.

“It will be down to cost-cutting, of that I am certain.”

A spokesperson for Barratt David Wilson Cambridgeshire said: “Back in June we wrote to all residents on Phase One of the development to reassure them that this was an isolated issue with the designs of a new section of the development under construction.

"Also in the summer two independent engineering firms reviewed the designs of the existing properties and offered further reassurance to residents that their homes are not affected.

Read More:


Katie Price's fiancé Carl Woods offers £5k reward after Range Rover is stolen

star gone

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels star Jake Abraham dies aged 56

"In addition, to provide additional comfort, we have offered all Phase One residents an additional 15 year warranty on top of the 10 year warranty provided on purchase.

“There is no foundation cracking in any of the houses. There is a small amount of normal non-structural cracking due to shrinkage in the outside bike store and in the outside drive-through arch due to settlement – the latter will be rectified shortly.”

Source: Read Full Article