People ‘crying out’ for new homes while site sits idle
Councillor raises questions over stalled affordable housing development in Hayes
A COUNCILLOR is calling for developers to take action, after hearing residents’ tearful pleas for help finding somewhere to live.
Councillor Janet Gardner, who represents Botwell ward in Hayes for Labour, is “disgusted and saddened” that a half-constructed affordable housing development has lain dormant for months whilst so many people in the town need a place to live.
Woodlands Social Housing, the contractors originally responsible for developing the block on 20 Blythe Road went into administration in June last year.
The site, which will create 120 flats, 97 of which will be affordable housing, then changed hands to Paradigm Housing – but no work has been carried out since, leaving the constructed shell untouched for months.
Cllr Gardner said: “You would have thought that somewhere out there would be a building company happy for the work.
“We have many residents in the area who are living in temporary, or totally inadequate housing, and we have a site just sitting there crying out to be developed into housing.
“The site has been deserted for over six months while we have residents desperate for somewhere decent to live – what are we, as councillors, meant to say when we have residents crying at our surgery pleading with us to help them get somewhere to live?”
Cllr Gardner added: “It may only be bricks and mortar to some people, but to those without a decent place to live, it’s a chance to have a comfortable home.”
David Brough, chairman of the Hayes Town Partnership, thinks the site in it’s current condition begs the question of “why is it so long coming?”
He said: “Work on the housing site opposite Hayes and Harlington station stopped in June last year when the building contractors went bust.
“What concerns me, is that nearly nine months have passed and the desperate shortage of housing continues unabated while this site stands idle.”
Paradigm Housing has responded to the pleas for work to begin, and say work will start on the site “as soon as possible”, blaming strict EU regulations for the delay.
Andrew Main, Paradigm’s director of business development, said: “Funding is in place for the development of 120 new homes at Blythe Road.
“Unfortunately the original contractor has gone bankrupt so work on the site has temporarily stopped while we appoint another.
“We’re acutely aware of the need for more affordable homes in the region so doing our best to ensure work at Blythe Road starts again as soon as possible.
“We have to follow strict EU regulations when appointing contractors, which can be time consuming, however we expect things to get moving again within the next two months.”
n DELAYS: The development site on Blyth Road in Hayes