Red tape has delayed completion of a £5.8million scheme in March to provide 52 affordable homes.

New homes under way in Gaul Road, March, for Sanctuary Housing

New homes under way in Gaul Road, March, for Sanctuary Housing - Credit: Archant

Red tape delays completion of £5.8million scheme in March to provide 52 affordable homes.

Sanctuary Housing is building the homes in Gaul Road in partnership with Fenland District Council and was due for completion this month.

But council officers now say they the completion has been put back because Middle Level Commissioners have yet to provide relevant consents.

These, says the council, are needed before Anglian Water can sign off the drainage.

“As the drainage is provided alongside the construction of the highways, this means that roads cannot be constructed and NHBC / Building Control cannot issue Practical Completion Certificates,” said a council spokesman.


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“The site does not yet have access to services (gas/electricity/water) due to the lack of culverts etc and accordingly it has not been possible to finalise some of the internal works without services.”

The council said reports locally that staff and contractors had not been paid were untrue.

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“Builders have not downed tools -there may appear to be fewer builders on site because work is slowing down because some works cannot continue until the relevant approvals are received,” said the spokesman.

“Sanctuary has confirmed that the properties at Gaul Road, March have already been advertised and allocated through Choice Based Lettings.”

Applicants who have been offered the homes on Gaul Road were contacted by Sanctuary last week and informed of the delay on site.

The spokesman said: “The applicants have not been made formal offers yet and therefore they are still free to bid for alternative homes through the CBL system if they are in urgent need of a move.”

Fenland Council says that Sanctuary has sought a waiver from HCA to enable a delay to the completion deadline date in the circumstances, to ensure the grant associated with this project is not lost.

“The proactive work which FDC can do to expedite the construction of the homes is to liaise with Middle Level Commissioners to understand the barriers stopping approvals being given and try to mediate where possible,” said the spokesman.

“This has been done and the feedback we have from Middle Level is that they believe a way forward has been found to enable the construction to be finished.”

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