Huffing and puffing as £650,000 homes begin to come down
- Credit: Terry Harris
Three £650,000 partially built steel homes in Cambridge are being demolished in a row between county council owned This Land Ltd and a builder.
This Land says a number of issues relating to the homes were identified during construction.
And as the dispute between This Land and its contractor, Hadham Construction, heads potentially to the courts, the homes are coming down.
This Land acting chief executive David Lewis said that his company had concluded that the steel frames do not meet its quality standards and will therefore be “rebuilt”.
Work has begun to remove the steel frames and it is expected that demolition will take five weeks.
The work is being undertaken by a newly appointed contractor.
“Following the independent inspection, the three homes in the development did not meet the high standards of quality expected by This Land,” said Mr Lewis.
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“We are therefore taking steps to replace the existing steel frames and build the homes to the quality This Land demands.”
Eleven other luxury homes are being built at Ditton Walk by the Cambridgeshire County Council 100 per cent owned housing arm. These remain unaffected by the latest decision.
David Collins, managing director of Hertfordshire based Hadham, emphatically rejects the claims by This Land.
He told This Land Ltd: “It is apparent that you do not like what we build, you do not like the way they are built, and have no intention of paying for them once they are built.”
Mr Collins said the “alleged deficiencies” had been inspected by structural engineers and quality assessors who had confirmed their homes “once complete will meet the required standards”.
He has instructed lawyers to handle his claims again This Land, which include unpaid invoices for work undertaken on the homes.
The county council is currently awaiting the findings of an independent review into This Land’s finances.
It will help inform the council of the growth potential of its housing arm and allow the officers and councillors to evaluate the risks by such large amounts of borrowing by This Land.
Since May political control at Shire Hall has changed and the ‘rainbow alliance’ in control are looking at options for This Land.