MPs accuse Harron Homes of leaving new estates with 'shocking' roads, damaged houses and unconnected sewerage

Cross-party MPs have accused developer Harron Homes of “mismanagement” of unfinished housing estates in West Yorkshire, causing misery for residents.

Conservative MP Robbie Moore raised concerns about the company’s High Banks development in Silsden, with Labour’s Holly Lynch hitting out at similar problems at the Moorside Lea development in Northowram, Calderdale during a recent Parliamentary debate on the management of new homes.

The issues raised by the pair include allegations of homes being finished to a poor standard, ‘countless’ snagging issues and sewerage pipes being unconnected. The developer said today it was "actively" dealing with issues.

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Mr Moore said that of the 50 properties on the High Banks development which was completed in 2020, local councillor Rebecca Whittaker has been contacted by around 30 of their residents unhappy about various issues.

Robbie Moore MP said there had been a lack of action to address problems on a Harron Homes development in his constituency.Robbie Moore MP said there had been a lack of action to address problems on a Harron Homes development in his constituency.
Robbie Moore MP said there had been a lack of action to address problems on a Harron Homes development in his constituency.

The Keighley MP said: “The manner in which the High Banks development has been finished and the snagging issues are, quite frankly, shocking.

“The road is in a shocking state. The sewerage system is still not connected to the mains, and a tanker comes in on a weekly basis to empty the development’s tanks.

“Many house owners have contacted me about cracks in their walls appearing, plumbing systems in their houses not being connected or finished, floorboards creaking, gardens not being properly landscaped or finished, and boundary fences not being finished. This situation is not satisfactory at all.

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“One constituent told me that they had waited so long for many of these issues to be sorted that they carried out the work themselves, only for the developer to say, ‘You finished it; we’re not coming in to sort it out’. That is not good enough.”

A garden on the High Banks estateA garden on the High Banks estate
A garden on the High Banks estate

He said he was aware of similar complaints about Harron Homes developments in Dewsbury and Colne Valley and criticised the company for a lack of action and communication.

“Harron Homes promised to keep up communications with many of its residents. Indeed, on the back of a meeting with Tony Lee, the managing director, and Andy Hall, the construction director, I was promised six-weekly updates.

"I have not received any update since the meeting with them in October, and the residents have received only one communication. Again, that is not good enough. As a result, I continue to receive correspondence from constituents in High Banks saying that Harron Homes has done absolutely nothing—since I met them or, indeed, since 2020, when it finished the development—to improve the site.”

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Halifax MP Holly Lynch said she had been contacted by seven residents on Harron Homes’ Moorside Lea development in Northowram, all raising issues of homes being finished to a poor standard and “countless snagging issues” that have gone years without being fixed.

She said: “It is completely unacceptable, not least because the houses were advertised and sold as luxury homes.”

Ms Lynch said one of the complainants is an NHS doctor who “has been forced to take multiple days off for contractors to attend his home, only for them not to show up”.

She said: “In one of his emails, he said, ‘When the world is uniting to help frontline NHS workers to deal with Covid-19, on my shift I am having to worry about constantly chasing Harron Homes about the safety of my children due to the rubbish they left in my garage, the outstanding work they never completed and the many issues they have still not addressed’.”

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Ms Lynch said has arranged two meetings with Harron Homes but a “churn in staff” has resulted in delayed progress in tackling the issues.

“When someone moves on, letters, calls and emails from me and constituents have gone unanswered for months at a time, and I have had to resort to asking to meet the managing director to attempt to resolve the multiple cases that my office is trying to manage. Although there has been some progress more recently with Harron Homes, it has been a fraught journey, and one that I am afraid to say is far from over.”

Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said he would be happy to meet both MPs to discuss their concerns.

“Obviously, we cannot intervene in particular cases, but there might be some advice that we can give,” he said.

Harron Homes says issues are being 'actively' dealt with

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Tony Lee, Managing Director for Harron Homes Yorkshire, said “Since meeting with MP Robbie Moore regarding The Banks development in Silsden we have continued to actively deal with customers’ snags.

"These are not individually extensive, although we accept there are more customers with snags than we would like at this stage. Our customer care team are in contact with customers to reduce the outstanding items as soon as we possibly can.

"The condition of the roads is the primary source of complaints that we had received before meeting up with Mr Moore, however by the end of October most remedials to the kerbs and pavements were completed.

“Harron Homes Yorkshire have surfaced several sites over the last 12 months to the satisfaction of the local highway authorities under challenging times and we are fully aware of the need to complete our sites in the West Yorkshire areas to that same standard.

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"There are however some remedial items at The Banks which are to be corrected before we can do that.

"We are conscious of the inevitable disruption to our customers when works start so we have engaged with expert adoptions co-ordinators to ensure anything unforeseen is limited and has mitigation already planned. We have been communicating with customers regarding the roads and sewers within the development, and as soon as we are able to commence works we will be informing customers of the actions to be taken.

"We apologise to all our customers for the timeframes taken to deal with some of these matters; we have actively sought solutions which have not always been easy to resolve in order to move these particular developments forward.

"I am confident that all of these developments will have completed roads, sewers and open spaces in the first half of 2022.”

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