Government slams house-builder over new estates in Dewsbury and Halifax

A Yorkshire house-builder that has left roads and pavements unfinished on its new estates in Dewsbury and Halifax has been chastised by the Government.

By Tony Earnshaw, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Monday, 21st March 2022, 11:45 am

Housing Minister Eddie Hughes wrote to Leeds-based Harron Homes after four West Yorkshire MPs passed on complaints from people who bought dream homes only to find roads were not completed – sometimes for years.

In a stinging letter to Harron Homes managing director Tony Lee, Mr Hughes said he expected all housing developers “to deliver good quality housing, to deliver it on time, and to treat house buyers fairly”.

The letter was copied to Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney, Halifax MP Holly Lynch, Keighley MP Robbie Moore and Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood, who last year raised the issue in the House of Commons.

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Dewsbury MP Mark Eastwood and community campaigner Keith Mallinson, who have both raised concerns about the state of the Harron Homes development at Amberwood Chase in Dewsbury

Mr Hughes intervened after MPs revealed concerns about “a lack of service and communication” between Harron Homes, its customers and MPs when attempting to resolve issues around new-build homes.

Mr Eastwood highlighted conditions on the Amberwood Chase estate in Dewsbury, where cars have been damaged by unfinished roads and pavements.

One man who paid more than £300,000 for a new house, and whose car was damaged by a pothole in an unfinished road, likened the state of surrounding roads to having been “barrel-bombed”.

Other problems were highlighted on new estates at Moorside Leas in Northowram and High Banks in Silsden.

The state of roads and pavements on a new housing estate in Dewsbury. They remain unfinished months after the final home was completed

Mr Hughes’ letter said new homes and estates “were not built to the required standards of quality expected” and that the problems were “compounded by a lack of adequate aftercare”.

He added: “I have been informed about circumstances where problems with individual homes have taken several years to fix, others where your customers have had to fix issues themselves, and some instances where issues have still not been resolved at all.

“I have also heard about incomplete shared facilities on the new estates such as poor quality and unfinished roads, drainage and streetscape.”

He urged Harron Homes to “satisfactorily resolve the outstanding issues” so that people can “move on with their lives”.

A spokesperson from Harron Homes Yorkshire said: “We have been working closely with the relevant authorities and contractors to resolve matters as soon as we can.

“We are pleased that progress has been made in rectifying the issues at Amberwood Chase, and expect work there to be complete by the summer.

“This is our top priority to ensure our customers can enjoy their homes in the way they expect, and we thank residents for their patience during this time.”

Mr Eastwood said: “Having previously raised this issue in Parliament, I am incredibly disappointed that we have got to the point where a Minister of State has had to write a letter to Harron Homes, reminding them of their responsibilities as a house-builder.

“The ongoing situation at Amberwood Chase in Dewsbury has taken far too long to resolve.

“It has caused a great deal of distress to the people who live on the estate who thought they were buying their dream home, which has quickly turned into a nightmare.”

Mr McCartney said it was “just not acceptable” that new estates were left unfinished and not up to standard.

He added: “Housing developers can’t just wash their hands of estates once they’ve sold the last property.

"I’ve been working with Mark Eastwood and other MPs to put pressure on housing developers get their act together and I really welcome the minister’s letter to Harron Homes. They have been warned.”