Work halted and sites secured as question marks hang over what’s happening to social housing being built in Manea and March, Cambridgeshire, by Crestel Partnership

Work has stopped at the social housing site in Fishermans Drive, March. Picture: ROB MORRIS

Work has stopped at the social housing site in Fishermans Drive, March. Picture: ROB MORRIS - Credit: Archant

Work has stopped on two major social housing contracts in the Fens and contractors have been busy today securing the sites against theft and vandalism.

Work has stopped at the social housing site in Fishermans Drive, March. Picture: ROB MORRIS

Work has stopped at the social housing site in Fishermans Drive, March. Picture: ROB MORRIS - Credit: Archant

Both sites have been commissioned by Roddons Housing – part of the Circle group- and the contracts, worth a total of £8million, were awarded to Crestel Partnerships of Hitchin.

Anne Brighton managing director of Circle Housing Roddons, said it has not been confirmed that Crestel is in administration “only that they’ve applied for this.”

She said: “Our immediate priorities are the security of both sites that have been worked on by Crestel and assign new contractors to complete the outstanding work. “We are now in possession of all keys for the properties previously being worked on by Crestel and have ensured the sites are secure.

“We are in the process of identifying a new contractor to complete outstanding work. If anyone in the community has any concerns about the sites or their new homes, we encourage them to contact our team who will be able to answer any questions.”

The Roddons development at Elliot Road in March.

The Roddons development at Elliot Road in March. - Credit: Archant


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Ms Brighton added: “We remain committed to providing 500 new homes for people in Fenland and this will continue to be our focus.”

She said the Williams Way site is almost complete with just four properties left to handover.

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“There are two blocks of flats left to complete at Elliott Road and that was due to complete in September.”

A woman living near the Elliot Road complex – where 59 homes are under construction- watched as builders secured the half finished site.

Williams Way, Manea.

Williams Way, Manea. - Credit: Archant

Maxine Rayner, of West End, March, says two sets of flats at the end of Fishermans Drive have been left unsecured. She branded the situation a “total mess”.

She said: “Roddons are building to the back of us but the builders have disappeared after saying they haven’t been paid.

“There are two massive sets of flats which are empty. Anyone could squat in them.

“Roddons will not tell us what’s happening. This has been going on for five years. It’s a nightmare, a total mess.

The Roddons development at Elliot Road in March.

The Roddons development at Elliot Road in March. - Credit: Archant

“My neighbours have been builders and they say this is going to take forever now to get sorted.

“You’ve got empty houses that could end up with squatters. I’d like everything to be made a lot saver. There could be a tragedy if kids get inside the flats.”

Crestel Partnerships has declined to comment.

Work has also stopped at Williams Way, Manea, where 39 homes are being built. Workmen securing the site today told passers by they were owed in excess of £100,000 and were waiting for further information as to if and when they would be paid. Roddons insisted the money owed to builders was not their responsibility.

Williams Way, Manea.

Williams Way, Manea. - Credit: Archant

On the website Crestel say of the site in March “it was secured for Roddons Housing (part of the Circle Group) to meet their commitment to providing new housing in Fenland.

“The scheme will provide 59 homes for affordable rent and shared ownership. It will meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 3 and be procured under a JCT Design and Build contract at a value of £5.07m.”

Of the Manea site it uses identical phrasing to describe their involvement.

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