Families’ fury at unfinished development

BELL Quadrant homes.
BELL Quadrant homes.

Residents claim their unfinished estate in Carfin is an eyesore and has been left in a dangerous condition after the developers went out of business.

They were promised a ‘stunning’ area to live complete with restaurants, wine bar, children’s nursery and playpark.

But one disgruntled resident, who has three empty houses next to him, said: “We’ve been left with a building site.”

Now their complaints have been taken up by North Lanarkshire Council which has promised action.

Work on the Bellgate development stalled two years ago when Brandon Homes (Scotland) went into liquidation.

More than 90 homes were planned but many have not been built. The proposed playpark never arrived and houses that were built look on to areas of waste ground.

Parents with young children suffered another blow six months ago when the Kidicare Nursery built in tandem with the estate closed suddenly.

Charles Ross has three empty houses next to his home in Bell Quadrant. Two are marked ‘Reserved’ and one has a ‘Sold’ sticker, but none have been occupied.

The gardens are overgrown and a yard from one of the houses is a five-foot drop to a drainage ditch. The area is not fenced off.

Mr Ross said: “It’s not safe for children here.

“We bought our home after hearing about all the amenities that were lined up. The nursery was here, there was talk of a nursing home and the house seemed perfect for our needs, but after all this time the place is just a building site.

“There is no maintenance of the common grass areas because the factor supposed to do the work says he can’t get involved until the estate is completed.”

Neighbour Pamela Deans was dismayed when the nursery closed as her son attended it and the facility was a selling point.

She added: “The pavements were supposed to get a second coating of tarmac, but that hasn’t happened and they’re dangerous as a result.

“Another hazard is the insecure fencing around the unfinished building areas.

“When you look at other areas nearby you realise just what an unattractive state our estate has been left in.”

The original Brandon Homes banner promising ‘a stunning development of three and four-bedroom properties’ can still be seen on walls in the estate, but Mrs Deans said she has had great difficulty trying to track down anyone connected with the Motherwell-based company.

She said: “Over the years I have had correspondence from various companies including Brandon Homes, Brandon Homes (Scotland), BHG Solutions, Harps Response and Carfin Developments.

“When I phoned one number last week I was told that various companies operate from there and no one could help me.”

Motherwell North councillor Peter Nolan expressed sympahty with the residents, saying: “I have spoken to a few of them and have taken their concerns to the relevant officials.

“I am confident they will do all they can to mitigate the problems and get the best possible outcome for the residents.”

A council spokesman said: “We have raised a number of issues with the Brandon Homes administrators, Zolfo Cooper.

“They have agreed to remove gas canisters from the site and we are in discussion regarding site clearance, temporary fencing and drainage issues.

“There are a number of options in relation to the roads and footways. A roads bond is in place and the council could, ultimately, call on this to complete the works.”