Residents now hit out at quality of 'eco-homes'

Denise Brown in the bathroom of her home which she says can only get tepid water from the taps

Denise Brown in the bathroom of her home which she says can only get tepid water from the taps

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A multi-million pound ‘eco homes of the future’ development in Bradford has come under further criticism for the standard of its construction.

And developer Lovell – which built the 45-property Pavilion Gardens project in Dudley Hill – has come under fire for not attending a meeting this week between residents,p Bradford Council and Yorkshire Housing which manages the homes .

The Telegraph & Argus exclusively reported on Monday that people living on the development were experiencing sky-high electricity bills from their supposed environmentally-friendly homes, which feature solar panels and either biomass or Nibe boilers.

They had been promised that the homes would be cheap to run when they moved in 18 months ago.

Now, the Council – which funded the £5.6m scheme alongside the Government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) – has promised to recompense households who have paid over the odds as an investigation continues into why the state-of-the-art heating systems do not work as planned.

But residents have also criticised the build quality of the homes and the living conditions within them.

Denise Brown said she and other residents were surprised Lovell did not attend the meeting.

The 52-year-old, who has osteoporosis and arthritis and wants to move, said: “They should have been there to tell us their side of the story, it would have been interesting to hear what they had to say about all this.

“I’ve had enough. I want out of here.

“The hot water’s only tepid, you could bath a baby in it – to get it any hotter I have to fill kettles.”

Another resident described her property as being only half-finished. She said: “It’s like the house that Jack built!”

Other complaints included toilets not flushing properly, gardens flooding and poor drainage.

David Shepherd, assistant director for regeneration and culture at the Council, said: “We are aware that, as is the case with any newly-built properties, there are some separate issues with some of the properties.

“The issues that are to do with the heating are being dealt with as part of the build contract with Lovell’s.

“Any issues that are to do with general repair and maintenance of the properties are being dealt with by our managing agent Yorkshire Housing. We are not aware of any legal action being taken by the residents.”

A Lovell spokesman said: “We appreciate that this is causing problems for residents and have been working closely with them, the Council, the manufacturer of the heating systems and consultants to try to resolve the issue.

“We have another meeting with the Council this week and hope that will bring us closer to a satisfactory resolution.

“The homes at the development were built according to the specification stipulated by the original contract and Lovell will do everything we can to assist the residents and resolve any issues.”

Comments (9)

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10:04am Thu 7 Feb 13

Apollo says...

Most new homes thrown up during the building boom are poorly constructed boxes.

I would not have a house from that era given to me. Buy a decent Victorian terrace if you want a proper house.
Most new homes thrown up during the building boom are poorly constructed boxes. I would not have a house from that era given to me. Buy a decent Victorian terrace if you want a proper house. Apollo
  • Score: 0

10:47am Thu 7 Feb 13

huxley1 says...

Apollo wrote:
Most new homes thrown up during the building boom are poorly constructed boxes.

I would not have a house from that era given to me. Buy a decent Victorian terrace if you want a proper house.
Yep you can't beat that horsehair plaster,lack of cavity wall or damp course , walls built at all any angle but square,zero insulation,leaking roof, They knew how to build them in those days.
There have been shoddy builders since the dawn of time.
A well built modern house is cheaper to run and maintain than anything built prior to it.
[quote][p][bold]Apollo[/bold] wrote: Most new homes thrown up during the building boom are poorly constructed boxes. I would not have a house from that era given to me. Buy a decent Victorian terrace if you want a proper house.[/p][/quote]Yep you can't beat that horsehair plaster,lack of cavity wall or damp course , walls built at all any angle but square,zero insulation,leaking roof, They knew how to build them in those days. There have been shoddy builders since the dawn of time. A well built modern house is cheaper to run and maintain than anything built prior to it. huxley1
  • Score: 0

11:25am Thu 7 Feb 13

Cooperlane2 says...

These should have a 10yr builders guarantee to start with?
.
Hot tap water might be tepid because of a temp limiting mixer so people don't get scalded?..as in "you could bathe a baby.
.
Toilets might be ecoflush so big jobs with half a roll of toilet paper don't flush so easily?
.
flooded gardens - new builds might need the garden digging over to get rid of rubble and loosen the compacted earth, then lawn relaying etc.
.
as for the leccy bills - they need an expert from somewhere like Sweden to see why the ecoheating isn't working right.
These should have a 10yr builders guarantee to start with? . Hot tap water might be tepid because of a temp limiting mixer so people don't get scalded?..as in "you could bathe a baby. . Toilets might be ecoflush so big jobs with half a roll of toilet paper don't flush so easily? . flooded gardens - new builds might need the garden digging over to get rid of rubble and loosen the compacted earth, then lawn relaying etc. . as for the leccy bills - they need an expert from somewhere like Sweden to see why the ecoheating isn't working right. Cooperlane2
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Not so simple says...

Having worked in the building trade, I can assure you that some newly built homes are of a very poor construction and this was known to planners,developers. The builders just build what they are told to build.

These homes will develop much more problems in the future.

Eco was just a sales term used to bring new Eco loving home owners to buy properties.

The old stone built properties will outlast these modern properties ten times over.
Having worked in the building trade, I can assure you that some newly built homes are of a very poor construction and this was known to planners,developers. The builders just build what they are told to build. These homes will develop much more problems in the future. Eco was just a sales term used to bring new Eco loving home owners to buy properties. The old stone built properties will outlast these modern properties ten times over. Not so simple
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 7 Feb 13

loftyme says...

huxley1 wrote:
Apollo wrote:
Most new homes thrown up during the building boom are poorly constructed boxes.

I would not have a house from that era given to me. Buy a decent Victorian terrace if you want a proper house.
Yep you can't beat that horsehair plaster,lack of cavity wall or damp course , walls built at all any angle but square,zero insulation,leaking roof, They knew how to build them in those days.
There have been shoddy builders since the dawn of time.
A well built modern house is cheaper to run and maintain than anything built prior to it.
Agree with Apollo, I have a big old through terrace, much warmer, more of a family atosphere, walls and plaster are fine, have 3 floors, and dosent cost a great deal to heat, proper stone built you see
[quote][p][bold]huxley1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Apollo[/bold] wrote: Most new homes thrown up during the building boom are poorly constructed boxes. I would not have a house from that era given to me. Buy a decent Victorian terrace if you want a proper house.[/p][/quote]Yep you can't beat that horsehair plaster,lack of cavity wall or damp course , walls built at all any angle but square,zero insulation,leaking roof, They knew how to build them in those days. There have been shoddy builders since the dawn of time. A well built modern house is cheaper to run and maintain than anything built prior to it.[/p][/quote]Agree with Apollo, I have a big old through terrace, much warmer, more of a family atosphere, walls and plaster are fine, have 3 floors, and dosent cost a great deal to heat, proper stone built you see loftyme
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Thu 7 Feb 13

johnjanejim says...

The NIBE heating systems are causing huge bills every where. You only have to go on you tube and type NIBE and a whole host of things pop up complaining from the BBCs rip of Britain to itv news.
In runcorn they spent £145,000 ripping the NIBE systems out after only 2 years on. In Cambridge they have compensated tenants by £50,000 over
the lay year and still growing. They have also ripped out a fair number.
The NIBE heating systems are causing huge bills every where. You only have to go on you tube and type NIBE and a whole host of things pop up complaining from the BBCs rip of Britain to itv news. In runcorn they spent £145,000 ripping the NIBE systems out after only 2 years on. In Cambridge they have compensated tenants by £50,000 over the lay year and still growing. They have also ripped out a fair number. johnjanejim
  • Score: 0

6:33pm Thu 7 Feb 13

MontyLeMar says...

johnjanejim wrote:
The NIBE heating systems are causing huge bills every where. You only have to go on you tube and type NIBE and a whole host of things pop up complaining from the BBCs rip of Britain to itv news.
In runcorn they spent £145,000 ripping the NIBE systems out after only 2 years on. In Cambridge they have compensated tenants by £50,000 over
the lay year and still growing. They have also ripped out a fair number.
Thanks for that suggestion. Looks like the housing association has bought a pup. For a start NIBE has been developed around the Swedish idea of well insulated homes, where heat loss is minimal. The UK is a joke as far as building warm homes is concerned. Where we use the traditional bricks and mortar and wet trades with a bit of cavity insulation plus double glazing, the Swedes go for timber frame with walls with up to a foot of insulation to keep the cold out plus triple glazed units. I feel sorry for the residents caught in the middle. I would suggest the HA keeps the NIBE system but installs a wood burner + flue. This should provide sufficient heat for the NIBE system to get working and wood burners are not too expensive to run.
[quote][p][bold]johnjanejim[/bold] wrote: The NIBE heating systems are causing huge bills every where. You only have to go on you tube and type NIBE and a whole host of things pop up complaining from the BBCs rip of Britain to itv news. In runcorn they spent £145,000 ripping the NIBE systems out after only 2 years on. In Cambridge they have compensated tenants by £50,000 over the lay year and still growing. They have also ripped out a fair number.[/p][/quote]Thanks for that suggestion. Looks like the housing association has bought a pup. For a start NIBE has been developed around the Swedish idea of well insulated homes, where heat loss is minimal. The UK is a joke as far as building warm homes is concerned. Where we use the traditional bricks and mortar and wet trades with a bit of cavity insulation plus double glazing, the Swedes go for timber frame with walls with up to a foot of insulation to keep the cold out plus triple glazed units. I feel sorry for the residents caught in the middle. I would suggest the HA keeps the NIBE system but installs a wood burner + flue. This should provide sufficient heat for the NIBE system to get working and wood burners are not too expensive to run. MontyLeMar
  • Score: 0

8:16pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Tosh2011 says...

The Council regeneration department managed the building project, the same lot responsible for the Westfield site?
The Council regeneration department managed the building project, the same lot responsible for the Westfield site? Tosh2011
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Tosh2011 says...

Lovells in my opinion are not to blame. Lovells are saying they have undertaken the works to the councils specification and the council inspected the works and signed it off.


David Shepherd, assistant director for regeneration at the Council should step down, he was responsible for the whole build from approving the designs and specifications. It was under his management that the council officers inspected the building work.
Lovells in my opinion are not to blame. Lovells are saying they have undertaken the works to the councils specification and the council inspected the works and signed it off. David Shepherd, assistant director for regeneration at the Council should step down, he was responsible for the whole build from approving the designs and specifications. It was under his management that the council officers inspected the building work. Tosh2011
  • Score: 0

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