Promises stay undelivered while developers are locked in impasse with Council.
Residents on some of the borough’s latest housing developments are complaining that developers are not delivering community amenities that were agreed to as part of planning permission.
Residents at Botley’s Boorley Park have told Eastleigh News they have ‘repeatedly’ raised issues with the consortium of developers behind the development and say they feel they have been ‘badly let down’.
The construction of a sports hall along with sports pitches was completed almost two years ago but has since stood empty and unused while the council and agents have yet to come into an agreement as whether or not the facility can be signed off.
It has taken so long that the sports has required maintenance repairs to the roof.
A frustrated Botley Park resident described Botley Park as “a beautfiful place to live” but added:
“Some of us have been living here for almost four years yet still have no local amenities, or places for children to play.
Planning has just been passed for buildings that will eventually give us a shop but that’s still years away so if you don’t drive, you face a hour round trip to walk to the nearest shop.
Bus services are appalling and there is no safe walking route for children to get to Wyvern School.
There has also been a significant failing by Hampshire CC and Wildern Academy Trust who have failed to secure Boorley Park residents places at the new Deer Park School despite these, and other new developments in the locality, are the reason the new school is needed.
There isn’t even any communication about what’s going on and when we can expect to have use of the spaces.”
Eastleigh News contacted the agents for the consortium of developers behind Boorley Park of Bloor Homes to ask why there had been a delay and when would residents be able to use the facilities?
In response, the agents suggested that the delay was caused by the council’s ‘updated requirements’ that an opening is contingent on the council’s agreement the ‘requirements’ and is only hopeful that this will happen ‘soon.’
The agents told us:
The consortium of Bloor Homes and Vistry Group has worked collaboratively with Eastleigh Borough Council to deliver a sports pavilion and community building that will provide fantastic facilities for the local residents. The buildings achieved Practical Completion and were commissioned for transfer in November 2019, however there has since been a period of consultation to ensure the buildings align to the local authority’s updated requirements and are opened in a manner that satisfies all parties… The consortium continues to meet with the local authority and is hopeful the buildings will soon be transferred for the benefit of the local community’
The agents also told us that the Multi-use Games Area (MUGA) has been completed and transferred to the council.
According to a report in the Daily Echo residents at Crowd Hill are also caught in a similar impasse between developers and Eastleigh Borough Council over the standard of play areas and public open space.
Residents at the Fair Oak development have been waiting for a play area for three years and the Council has told the developer Bloor Homes – who are also one of the developers at Boorley Park- that they have to bring the public spaces up to the standard agreed before the council can adopt them and that there are public Health and Safety issues that need to be addressed before this can happen.
A council spokesperson told the Echo:
“The continued failure of Bloor Homes to perform its obligations at Crowdhill Green is blighting an otherwise attractive development.
Despite the best efforts of many council officers the land is still not up to the required standard – to allow the parish council to install a play area, following consultation with the local community.”
In response a Council spokesperson said:
“The Council has not updated its requirements concerning the two community buildings at Boorley Park, having raised concerns about design aspects in both buildings in August 2019. There were also omissions to the building such as lightning protection systems which have now been retrofitted and most of the required certifications have now been received. The redesign of the gents toilets in both buildings is now underway after lengthy consultation with the developers who have recently informed the Council that they will appoint architects and then embark on reconstruction.
The Council will continue to work with the developer to ensure that fit for purpose buildings are provided for the local community. The Council is willing to take ownership of the playing fields now but the developers have declined this offer as they require the community buildings to be transferred at the same time. However, the Council is pleased to announce that the Multi Use Games Area and the play area will be officially opened by the Mayor on Friday 25 June.”