Bulldozed housing: New homes in trouble are turned to rubble

Developers admitted the buildings had to be knocked down and started again, at a cost of £40 million, after foundation issues were discovered at the site.

Four houses at new community Darwin Green, close to Cambridge’s city centre, were reduced to rubble yesterday but the programme of demolition work is expected to continue over the next 12 weeks.

A planning application submitted last autumn revealed tiles and other materials, such as doors, windows and sanitary ware, would be salvaged where possible, while concrete and bricks would be crushed on site and reused.

The massive development has outline approval for up to 1,593 homes, as well as a primary school, supermarket and library. It will also feature a 15-acre park.

Phase two is currently under way, with two, three, four and five-bedroom homes selling for between £575,995 and £850,995.

It is believed a number of homes with faulty foundations had already been sold, but were not occupied.

A spokesman for the developers, Barratt David Wilson Homes Cambridgeshire, said in June: “As a five-star house builder we have an extensive quality assurance process and during inspections we found a small number of unoccupied properties at our Darwin Green development did not meet our usual high standards.

“Unfortunately, the most effective course of action…is to demolish the properties and rebuild them.

“We have apologised to the customers affected and understand their frustrations, but we are doing all we can to lessen the impact.

“The most important thing is the homes we build… are of the highest quality possible and this means spotting and mistakes and putting them right.”

Local councillor Cheney Payne described the news as “absolutely shocking”.

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