RESIDENTS of a newly built south Hornchurch housing development have complained of suffering from an infestation of vermin and rodents in their homes.
Orchard Village, handed over to private housing firm Circle Housing Old Ford in March 2008, is a three phase £140m development replacing what was the former Mardyke Estate.
Yet, despite certain homes having been built only three years ago, residents have had to deal with rodent droppings, having their flooring chewed up, and the sound of the animals in their walls.
Resident Colin Nickless, 40, from Broadis Way described the rodent infestation as “endemic to this new build development” and said the situation was made worse by the rubbish which he says is often strewn throughout the development.
Mr Nickless added: “Rodents have easy access to properties that are riddled with holes and entry points with free movement between homes.
“Residents were already fed up with the poor standard of build, leaks, damp, mould, electrical faults, little or no insulation, lack of hot water and homes without adequate heating.
“You don’t expect to see these problems with a new build property and questions should be asked to bodies that regulate these builds, as checks of build competence haven’t been carried out.”
Following Circle Housing last week confirming their purchase of a £17m development plot to build 3,000 new homes in Rainham, Mr Nickless added that he feared the Council and other housing authorities were “sweeping the problems with Orchard Village under the carpet in the name of progress for unrelenting development.”
Local ward councillor Michael Deon-Burton has received several letters from disgusted residents, some of whom are threatening to refuse to pay their rent if the problem is not dealt with, and says that Circle Housing have to take responsibility for the issue.
Cllr Deon-Burton added: “Many of the tenants here are saying that it is because they are supported by social benefits and have little choice as to where or how they are housed.
“Despite clear promises that were given to them as to their better treatment, as they state they have to live in this squalor.”
Iain Taylor, Director of Development for Circle Housing has assured residents that the issue is being taken seriously and that steps have been fix the problem.
He said: “Our residents’ wellbeing is our top priority. We have taken action to resolve the issue, which is affecting a small number of homes which are part of a terrace.
“We arranged for pest control specialists to visit the site this week to deal with the problem, and we will continue to liaise directly with residents on a regular basis.”