Sunday 21 July 2024
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Nottingham

Vandals caused £30,000 of damage to unfinished Nottingham council estate

A new contractor has been appointed to complete an unfinished council housing estate in Nottingham which suffered around £30,000-worth of damage due to vandalism following the collapse of the previous housebuilder.

Edwinstowe-based Robert Woodhead Limited had been building 106 council homes for Nottingham City Council on the site of the former Eastglade School in Top Valley.

However in September last year, the firm ceased trading, prompting the loss of 122 jobs and a pause to all of its live projects, including Eastglade.

The scheme, which was being delivered in two phases, was left unfinished.

After this, City Council documents reveal the site had been prone to anti-social behaviour including break-ins, vandalism, stone-throwing and fires.

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Windows have been smashed and electric car charging points were stolen, leaving damage costs in the region of £30,000.

When Robert Woodhead ceased trading, the first phase of homes was around 79 to 88 per cent complete, while the second phase was around 58 to 79 per cent complete.

In January 2023, the council decided Lovell Partnership would become the principal contractor to finish the first phase and work commenced in July.

In a delegated decision published in August, the council says it has also chosen Lovell Partnership to deliver the second phase of homes, having demonstrated it is delivering the homes with value for money for the authority.

“The works to phase A are due to conclude in February 2024 and it is desirable that the works to phase B to start during this time or worst case follow on immediately,” council documents say.

“Failure to have the works follow on will lead to rent loss, security costs, insurance costs and an increased risk of anti-social behaviour.

“The swift commencement of works will result in the homes being occupied sooner with new tenants able to move in.

“The homes are due to be let via HomeLink and the swift commencement of works will allow households to move in sooner, increasing circulation in stock, and making available accommodation for those currently unsuitably housed or in temporary accommodation.”

The council has estimated the costs of security to be in the region of £15,000 per month, on top of insurance which costs £2,000 per month.

Loss from rent would also equate to around £28,000 per month.

The budget for the housing scheme was approved at Executive Board in February 2020.

According to Executive Board documents published this year, variances have arisen in the Housing Revenue Account budget “due to the failure of the contractor appointed to complete the Eastglade development.”

However the documents do not specify what these costs are.

The 106 new homes will include 23 one-bed flats, 63 two-bed houses and 20 three-bed homes.

Alison Brown, Director of Property Services at Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s important these works are restarting to create more affordable homes for local people on the council house waiting list.

“These homes are well-designed and energy efficient – places where people will be proud to live.

“I look forward to seeing the transformation from an unused site into new homes for local people and families.”

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