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Homeowners on ‘half-built’ £50 million estate left in limbo after builder goes into administration

Homeowners on a ‘half-built’ £50 million estate have been left in limbo after the construction company went into administration with several houses still unfinished.

The residents in the newest parts of the award-winning Foxhall estate, in Blackpool,  have been left with a host of problems and fear they will have to foot the bill to fix them.

Issues range from leaky plumbing and holes in the roof to sewage in back gardens and loose cladding.

They have also discovered an unfinished balcony, smelly toilet and an inch gap under a fire door. 

Andy Thompson and Kelsey Horth, two of the Foxhall residents left with problems with their new homes after Marcus Worthington went bust

Several homes remain unfinished while some already moved in residents have been left with a host of problems

Several homes remain unfinished while some already moved in residents have been left with a host of problems

Several homes remain unfinished while some already moved in residents have been left with a host of problems

Several homes remain unfinished while some already moved in residents have been left with a host of problems

Hollinwood Homes, the residential division of Marcus Worthington Group, developed the estate in partnership with Blackpool Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and Great Places Housing Group as part of a wider regeneration of the area.

The 400-home plan collected the ‘most innovative scheme award’ at the Royal Town Planning Institute North West Planning Achievement Awards in 2015.

The mix of two, three and four-bedroom properties priced at around £190k on the 19-acre site has streets named after former Blackpool FC greats.

Many of the homes were bought in a shared ownership programme – a scheme to help people get on the property ladder by having part mortgage and part rental to spread the substantial costs.

Marcus Worthington and Company, the construction arm of the Marcus Worthington Group, hit financial trouble and went under last month.

PwC has been appointed to administer Marcus Worthington and Company Ltd by one of the group’s funders, Cumberland Building Society.

Building work has stopped completely on several half-built houses in the area and many of the roads have been left unfinished.

Marcus Worthington and Company, the construction arm of the Marcus Worthington Group, hit financial trouble and went under last month

Marcus Worthington and Company, the construction arm of the Marcus Worthington Group, hit financial trouble and went under last month

Catherine Wigley moved into her new property at the end of May after purchasing it under shared ownership.

She said: ‘It is terrible. We have a big list of snags and no one to sort them out. We just don’t know whose responsibility it is.

‘I had the builders out twice because a pool kept appearing in front of the toilet. We have a tub underneath it to catch water.

‘My balcony, which was one of the things which made me buy the house, has never been finished off. It’s supposed to have glass in but it is all boarded up.

‘The paint comes off the walls inside when you try to wipe them down.

‘They sent the site manager out about the toilet and he and another workman accused me of peeing on the floor. It was so embarrassing.

Catherine Wigley moved into her new property at the end of May after purchasing it under shared ownership

Catherine Wigley moved into her new property at the end of May after purchasing it under shared ownership

‘We got a friend who is a plumber to look at it and he said the pipes have just not been connected properly.

‘The openings are literally just balancing on top of each other. The toilet smell keeps me awake at night.

‘Just before all this happened we saw builders doing the roof of the house at the end and they were literally just putting black bin bags down and the tiles on top of them. That cannot be right.’

David Cheetham said there was sewage in the back garden due to flooding when it rains, there was a problem with fire doors and the house was not painted on the outside.

He said: ‘I have only been in four weeks before the company went into administration. Before that they kept on saying they were going to fix things but didn’t.

‘There is an inch gap under the fire door which is a real danger.

‘It is part rented. The thing that is bothering me more than anything is that I bought my part of this house with an inheritance.

David Cheetham said there was sewage in the back garden due to flooding when it rains, there was a problem with fire doors and his house was not painted on the outside

David Cheetham said there was sewage in the back garden due to flooding when it rains, there was a problem with fire doors and his house was not painted on the outside

‘My dad told me to spend the money to get a nice place to live.’

Andrew Thompson and Kelsey Horth have been left with a large hole in their roof which lets in the rain.

He said: ‘It has all just been bodged. They have just thrown these houses up. There were lads on one roof putting down bin bags instead of roofing felt.

‘It’s a shame, they should be really good houses with the layout and design.

‘The missing roof tile means that all the insulation in the loft is wet. We have got damp patches on the walls all over.

‘There are cracks right up the corners of the bedroom wall and across the ceiling. It looks like it will come down. I am worried it might fall on the children.

‘Outside the driveway is a mess and floods all the time in the rain.’

Kelsey added: ‘There are cracks everywhere in the plaster on the walls and tiles missing from the roof.

‘We feel gutted now. We wished we had never bought this house.’ 

Building work has stopped completely on several half-built houses in the area and many of the roads have been left unfinished

Building work has stopped completely on several half-built houses in the area and many of the roads have been left unfinished

Hollinwood Homes Ltd, the residential division of Marcus Worthington Group, is unaffected by the financial issues, along with two other group companies Marcus Worthington Properties Limited and Stonewell Property Company Ltd.

Hollinwood Homes was the firm that residents bought or part-bought their Foxhall homes from, but since the building team were taken off-site, they say they cannot contact anyone about the scores of problems with the new homes.

The rental side of the deal is handled by Chelsea-based property company Heylo.

A council spokesperson said: ‘Following Marcus Worthington Construction going into administration we are looking to support the developer Hollinwood Homes to continue the build of the development and are reviewing the options available to ensure the project is successfully completed.

‘The responsibility for any remedial works remains with the developer as is the case with all new build projects.

‘New owners also have the assurance of being covered by an NHBC warranty.’

Marcus Worthington Group, Hollinwood Homes and Heylo Homes have not yet responded to requests for a comment.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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