Crackdown on dodgy housebuilding 'desperately needed' as taskforce set up

A "desperately needed" crackdown on shoddy housebuilding could be on the way to help homeowners the avoid "pain and heartache" of badly built dream homes.

Shropshire Council's Place Overview Committee unanimously agreed to launch a group specifically to investigate issues where new homeowners are let down by developers.

The group is being set up over concerns that houses and estates are being left unfinished across the county, and it could result in new policies designed to make sure developments are completed fully.

It comes after councillors raised concerns over a Shrewsbury development at a recent meeting – with members then saying the issues had been repeated at other sites across the county.

In a meeting of the committee, Whitchurch North councillor Peggy Mullock said: "I so welcome this after the horrendous problems we had in Whitchurch. It's still not resolved and it has put the people through so much pain and heartache."

Councillor Julian Dean, the Green Party representative for Porthill in Shrewsbury, said he had received two emails in the last week on the issue. He said that someone living in a new build in Nesscliffe detailed how 'large lumps of mortar are dropping out of roof joints'. and that their garden floods every time it rains. They also told Mr Dean how 'locks don't work properly, doors don't close properly' and that the cul-de-sac still has incomplete landscaping.

An All Stretton resident also told Mr Dean how they were having to put up with ongoing issues including drainage problems and an incomplete road having moved in more than two years ago.

"We desperately need this," Mr Dean said of the new scrutiny group. However, he implored the committee to ensure residents have their voices heard.

"I accept the terms of reference but it does seem a bit builder heavy and resident light in terms of who we're going to hear from. When it comes to the site visits I think we should specify it should be at the invitation of residents."

It comes after North Shropshire's Lib Dem MP, Helen Morgan, said the law over the issue needs tightening up – to avoid new home owners being left facing problems.

She said: “I’ve spoken to many constituents here in North Shropshire who instead of happily settling into their dream home have had to deal with a huge amount of stress because of dodgy developers.

“People face enough difficulties getting onto the housing ladder without having to deal with shoddy and unfinished work when they eventually move in.

“It’s really not fair. That’s why the law needs strengthening and local councils need to be given the power and resources to hold housebuilders to account when they don’t fulfil their obligations.”

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