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"Not good enough": Harrogate MP tells developers to up their game

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough.

Harrogate & Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones used a special debate in the House of Commons yesterday to call on housing developers to up their game.

The call comes amid a swathe of complaints to the MP from residents on new housing estates reporting unfinished drainage, no lighting, ill-fitting windows and many more issues.

The debate follows several meetings Mr Jones has had with developers including Taylor Wimpey, Avant Homes and Harron Homes. 

However, the complaints continue to pile up with one resident reporting a snagging list of over 200 items while poor drainage meant others saw standing water pooling all the way to their front doorsteps.

Following the debate, Mr Jones said:

“You wouldn’t think when you move in to a brand new home that you will be beset by problems with the house itself – gaps around the windows, guttering falling off, poorly fitted bathrooms and so on. 

"Combine that with the scene outside your new home of standing water, unsurfaced roads, no street lights, unfinished play areas. 

“It’s just not on to move people into new houses – for many their first home – when they are full of defects and the estate roads look like the developers has just upped sticks and cleared off mid-job.”

Mr Jones told MPs that his ‘fair deal for new estates’ campaign had resonated with colleagues who had inundated him with similar experiences in their own constituencies. 

He added:

“Colleagues have told me how heartbroken purchasers are – many of them young, first-time buyers excited about their new home. 

"And I think it is important that developers realise that this is more than just a financial transaction for people. 

"Buying a new home is exciting, stressful and emotional all at the same time. 

"Allowing people to move into homes with problems on half-finished estates is letting people down in so many ways.”

Concluding the debate Mr Jones called for ministers to look at ways of strengthening action against developers who leave residents in this kind of half-finished limbo including a more effective complaints process and better enforced building standards.

He also asked ministers to look at how developers can be helped to recruit a workforce, perhaps through apprenticeships, with the necessary skills to do a good job first-time round.

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