Wait? we've waited too long already claim angry tenants as they face further delays to move dates for their new homes in Gaul Road, March

PUBLISHED: 16:16 04 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:37 07 August 2015

Sanctury housing letter.

Sanctury housing letter.

Archant

Weeks before they were promised their new homes would be ready, angry tenants have been told all bets are off and no date can now be given.

Families have been left living out of suitcases, some cramped into the rooms of relatives and friends while others have children due to move from schools in Wisbech to March.

All have been left in limbo after a housing association let them down for the fifth time on a moving date.

With just three weeks to go to their planned move, 52 families have been told by Sanctuary Housing that there has been a fresh delay on the Gaul Road site and they “cannot confirm at this stage what the completion date will be”.

The news comes two months after Sanctuary pledged the homes would be ready by September.

Sanctuary Housing, Tenants for new housing turn up on site in Gaul road. Picture: Steve Williams.Sanctuary Housing, Tenants for new housing turn up on site in Gaul road. Picture: Steve Williams.

A sanctuary spokesman said: “We are very sorry for the continued delay, which stems from earlier complications in gaining permission to connect these properties to the utilities and roads.

“We are working very closely with the developer and other relevant parties to do all we can to move forward as quickly as possible, and will continue to keep families updated as work progresses.

“At the same time we are speaking to families individually to offer support and ensure that they fully understand all of their options for accommodation, whether or not they choose to wait for these properties to be completed.”

Many people packed their belongings into boxes at the beginning of the year when they were told they could move in January.

Sanctuary Housing, Tenants for new housing turn up on site in Gaul road. Picture: Steve Williams.Sanctuary Housing, Tenants for new housing turn up on site in Gaul road. Picture: Steve Williams.

Nikki Simpson, 42, who is living with her sister while she waits for her house to be completed, said: “If they were honest with us from the start then we could make plans, but as it stands they keep making promises and then breaking them.”

A mother from Wisbech said her 14 year old daughter, who is approaching GCSE studies, and nine year old daughter said their farewells to friends ready to move to new schools in March only to learn they will now stay.

Ursula Hayden, 39, of Burcroft Road, Wisbech, said: “Like most of us I was told before Christmas that the home would be ready by June so I started packing.

“I’m sleeping on the sofa; the kitchen is packed up ready to go. I don’t know whether to unpack or leave it. The girls have no idea when they will have to move schools. The stress is awful.”

Families were told they could move in January. The date moved to February, then to summer ad finally to September - a total of five date changes.

Councillor Jan French said: “Sanctuary have let down families badly. They have no idea of the stress they are putting families under.”

MP Steve Barclay has written to Sanctuary and asked them to issue a public statement, including timelines for delays.

In a letter to residents Sanctuary Housing told them that “work is progressing well on the homes and the majority of them are nearing completion.

“However, we are still waiting for further infrastructure works to be conducted, such as utility connections and the roads.

“We are expecting our developers, Langwith Construction to provide us with an updated programme of completion over the coming weeks.

“Unfortunately this delay is pushing the completion date back further. We an confirm that contrary to our previous understanding no properties will be available in September and request that at this time you make no plans for your move.

“We understand this is a frustrating situation and we are doing everything we can to rectify the problems causing the delay”.

In May two agencies told how delays were due to Sanctuary not correctly completing paperwork.

Iain Smith, chief executive of Middle Level Commissioners, said there were problems with two pieces of paperwork.

He said: “They hadn’t applied for consent to discharge foul water into the system and they hadn’t supplied detailed plans of how they intend to cross private water courses.”

Anglian Water said that Sanctuary put in an original application a year ago but it was missing details so there was “a fair bit of back and forth as the gaps were filled in”.

SOME OF THE FAMILIES AFFECTED:

Jodie Humphreys, 21, is living with her mum Mary at Riverdown with her one year old daughter.

“We all feel stuck. I can’t bid for another house because if I do I then lose the chance of this one in case it comes up. We all need our own space now.”

Ursula Hayden, 39, is living with her two daughters at Burcroft Road in Wisbech.

“I was told before Christmas that we could move in January. The dates keep changing. Everything including our beds are packed ready to move. The stress is horrible.”

Nikki Simpson, 42, is living with her sister and her family until she can move with her four year old son.

“I’m paying £104 a month to keep my belongings in storage. We can’t bid on any other homes, it is a Catch 22 and nobody at Sanctuary cares.”

Hayley Massey, 29, is living in a flat with her nine year old daughter and two year old son.

“I’m lucky as my landlord let me stay on despite handing in my notice ready to move. I’ve been packed since January.”

Kay Payne, 33, is living in a Roddons home with her 10 year old daughter and eight year old son who are having to share a bedroom.

“It is only a two bedroom property and the children now need to be in separate bedrooms. I’m lucky as at least I still have my own roof over my head. A lot had to move out after handing in notice to private landlords. I feel so sorry for them.”

Tina Thompson has her daughter Sian Bond and boyfriend Andrew Rilley living in a box room at her New Road home along with their five-year-old daughter and baby.

She said: “It is stressful for all of us. They are cramped into one room. It is putting us all under massive pressure.”

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