We’ve given up on our dream home

New homes are few and far between at Bellside Brae.
New homes are few and far between at Bellside Brae.

A couple are walking away from their dream home in Cleland after giving up hope that it will ever be built.

They say they were expecting the keys of the house in the summer, but were then told problems with the builder meant a delay of several months.

There was further dismay when it emerged they wouldn’t be able to move in by Christmas.

Only a handful of houses at the Bellside Brae development have been completed.

The occupants of one said they have been living there for five years and since then only another couple of houses have been built.

There is anger that, while there is street lighting, roads and pavements have not been finished. Residents pay council tax, but their bins are not emptied because the estate has not been completed.

One buyer said he and his fiancée wanted to highlight the situation to ensure other purchasers are not “strung along” like they have been.

The man, who is from Motherwell and wished not to be named, said they were won over by the promise of a smart new home in a quiet location just beyond the village of Cleland.

Calder Homes use the slogan “Giving you more” to market the development of 27 four and five-bedroom homes, with prices starting at £220,000.

He said: “They have a cracking showhouse and we put down a £1,000 reservation fee. The property we were to get looked amazing – you got a lot of house for your money.

“We were also attracted by a tie-in with the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.”

The couple say they were told in the spring this year their home would be ready by August, but when they visited the site during the summer to check on progress at their plot they found work hadn’t started.

Alarm bells were ringing, but it was explained to them there had been a problem with the builders and a November completion date was given.

However, they say that too has been put back, first to January and then April or May next year.

The man said: “We were gutted to hear that. It would have been nice to be in for Christmas, but instead we’re stuck in a small flat.

“We have had every story under the sun from these people and now we are walking away.

“Apart from paying the reservation fee, we spent £500 on a valuation, so we have lost money, but it would have been worse had we put down a deposit on the house.

“The Bellside Brae website is still offering these properties for sale and we just want people to be aware of what’s happened so they are not strung along like we were.”

Residents in Bellside Brae said they have no complaints about their home, but just wish they had a few more neighbours.

They say the showhouse has not been open for months and despite the presence of partially-constructed homes there has been no building activity for a considerable period.

The Times & Speaker contacted a spokesman for the developers, but could not get a comment for this week’s issue.

A North Lanarkshire Council spokesman said: “In terms of the planning legislation, we have no powers to require the development to be completed.

“However, our roads service has been working with the developer to help them make progress on completing the partially constructed road and footways.

“A new construction consent was issued in July, a condition of which is that the roads and footways should be completed within three years. The council will monitor progress and ensure the developer meet their obligations here.”