The sorry saga of Orchard Village continues…

Colin Nickless holding the metal pole that fell off the building. Picture: Colin Nickless.

Back in February, we wrote a post about the troubled Orchard Village development in South Hornchurch which was built to replace the Mardyke Estate: Building the slums of the future This post highlighted problems with the standard of construction…

A recent article in the Romford Recorder serves to confirm that there are serious issues with the build quality which are still not being adequately addressed: Orchard Village resident accuses Clarion Housing Group of talking rubbish

We’re not talking about aesthetics here, we’re talking about build quality that’s so poor that it could seriously injure and potentially kill someone. If the metal pole being held by Colin Nickless had hit someone, they could have ended up dead. In the 21st century on a new build housing estate in what is supposed to be an advanced country, residents should not have to walk round in a state of fear in case part of a building falls off and hits them. These aren’t teething problems – this is a major failure in quality control during the building process that has serious safety implications.

Colin Nickless, the chair of the estate’s residents association, said the metal pole had been lying there for some days before Clarion Housing got round to dealing with it. Clarion Housing claim they did deal with the issue promptly – mind you, a housing association that’s more concerned with box ticking and conveying the perception that they’re doing the right thing than actually looking after the interests of residents would say that!

This issue has been rumbling on for many months and all Clarion Housing appear to want to do is brush the problem under the carpet rather than dip their hands in their pockets and start undertaking some serious remedial work. Take a look at the related articles about the estate listed at the foot of the Recorder piece and you’ll see what we mean!

As we’ve written before, the model for delivering new, genuinely affordable housing is broken. Until residents are fully involved in the development process of new housing, we’re going to see this crap time after time. The problem is that genuine resident involvement in the development process will not happen without a significant social and political upheaval…


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