Harron Homes development in Castleford still not finished three years after builders move on

People living on a new  housing estate in Castleford have been waiting for years for repairs to be carried out to their homes and for the roads to be finished.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 6:52 pm
People living in the Ravenswood Fold housing estate in Castleford have had enough.

The Ravenswood Fold Estate in Glasshoughton, was built by Leeds-based Harron Homes, with construction beginning five years ago. The builders moved off the site three years ago leaving home owners in limbo.

Drain coverings are raised proud of the road so there is nowhere for rainwater to dissipate, resulting in flooding and people have reported that vehicles are being damaged due to the uneven road surface.

The homeowners have had enough and are considering taking legal action against the housebuilder.

The crack down the boundary wall between John Hart's garden and his neighbour's

Dee Taylor, said: “The problems started before we moved in.

“Our move in date was delayed six times. It took more than nine months to get the keys.

“There were six pages of snags when we finally moved in and now, almost four years on, we still have about a full page's worth.

“Our neighbours have reported.walls falling down and some have visible cracks all the way down them. There are bedrooms with no insulation so they can’t be heated above 14 degrees even with the central heating on full blast.

Unfinished roads on the estate

“We had to run electric heaters to keep our children warm enough to sleep as the rooms are 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house.

“The wrong pipework was fitted,there have been leaking roofs because of incorrectly fitted flashing and even stairs falling through to the garage beneath.

Kirsty and Ricky Caine said their 11-year-old son Jacob fell off his scooter due to a deep pothole in the road and broke his hand so badly that he requires surgery and physiotherapy.

And Adam and Kit Burgess, who have two young children say they have had to replace eight tyres and two sets of suspension on their car in the three-and-a-half years they have lived on the estate.

The dangerous wall between two of the houses

They also have an issue with the height of the sleeper wall between their driveway and the one next door. It was not fitted with a fence or railing so they say it could lead to serious injury if any child fell off it.

Another homeowner Marie Jones said: “I had a list of more than 100 issues, some are still to be resolved. We had to have a new floor fitted, there was no felt on our garage roof, we needed a new boiler, every electrical socket was loose and we had a loose banister rail.

“They even had to knock down two internal walls as they were not straight, and replace dented worktops.”

Mrs Taylor added: “They have had to dig up a whole street of front gardens and driveways because they laid the drains at the wrong fall angle and so all the sewage backs up and overflows into our gardens.

This small drain pipe is the only place the water can go to when it rains as drain covers are higher than the road surface

“Our neighbours, who had a newborn, had their whole garden flooded almost to their back door with human waste.

“These gardens and drives are now sinking again for the third time.”

Retired engineer John Hart and his wife Sheila say moving to the estate was the biggest mistake they ever made.

“Wiring and lights were hanging off when we moved in, there is a crack in my stone windowsill and the boundary wall between our neighbour's garden and ours has a massive crack down it.”

Ms Taylor and her neighbours have complained hundreds of times but emails go unanswered for months and phone calls are either not picked up or are disconnected.

Despite all this, many of those living on the Ravenfold estate say the houses would be lovely if they’d been built correctly and that it’s a lovely community to live in.

A spokesperson for Harron Homes Yorkshire said, “We have been working with the local highways department over the last 12 months to agree remedial requirements for the estate roads at Ravenswood Fold.

“As an interim measure temporary work was undertaken last week following recent contact from the residents of Ravenswood Fold and we are working with the original contractor to determine a date for commencement of rectification of their defects.

“At Harron we hold high standards for our developments and on this occasion we have not lived up to them, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused to the local residents.”