Homeowners fury at half-built plush estate with garden sewage and leaky roofs

Homeowners are furious about the state of their half-finished development, complaining of overflowing sewage, leaking roofs and loose cladding.

Several homes on the Foxhall estate in Blackpool, Lancashire, remain unfinished and some residents fear they may have to pay for building work themselves.  

The homeowners say they have been left in the dark, with nowhere to turn for help.

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

Building work has stopped completely on several half-built houses in the area and many of the roads have been left unfinished after the construction company behind the estate went bust.

Catherine Wigley, of Blundell Street, 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.

"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.

He added that there was a problem with the fire doors and the house was not painted on the outside.

The homeowner 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.

"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.

Andrew 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."

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.

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.

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.

Hollinwood is unaffected along with two other group companies Marcus Worthington Properties Limited and Stonewell Property Company Ltd.

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