Water all-clear puts estate back on track

The half-built estate at Bellside Brae, near Cleland.
The half-built estate at Bellside Brae, near Cleland.

A half-built housing estate near Cleland could finally be completed after work to move a major water main was given the go-ahead.

Buyers were furious after putting down reservation fees for properties at Bellside Brae then finding their homes weren’t being built.

It’s now emerged that delays were due to problems caused by the existence of the water main which runs through the estate.

After a meeting last week between a contractor and Scottish Water officials it’s understood work to shift the main will start soon, a year after some homes should have been ready.

The news comes too late for prospective buyers who walked away from their dream homes because of the delays.

Bellside Brae was marketed as a development of 27 four and five-bedroom homes in a “beautiful semi-rural location”, with prices starting at £220,000.

Eileen Buchanan, from Carfin, put down a £1000 reservation fee in April last year, but when the completion date kept getting put back she decided to pull out.

She said: “It took months to get the fee back and that was only after I got a solicitor involved.

“It’s a shame because I was very impressed by the showhouse. The homes looked good value for money.

“It’s terrible for people who thought they were getting a house built and I feel sorry for those who are having to live there when the estate is not complete.”

Another potential buyer said he and his fiancee walked away without getting their reservation fee back, having also forked out £500 for a valuation.

He said: “At first we were told our home would be ready in August last year, then it was put back until November and finally we were told it would be April or May this year.

“We were strung along and given every reason under the sun for the delays. We have lost money but it would have been worse had we put down a deposit on our house.”

A couple whose home had been completed said they were happy with the property, but not with the fact that roads and pavements hadn’t been finished.

As a result, although they were paying council tax, North Lanarkshire Council was refusing to provide a bin service for them.

A Scottish Water spokesman said: “We met last week with the developer’s contractor who will carry out the work to move the existing public water main. Our understanding is the necessary work is commencing shortly.”