Praise for TV star’s controversial housing project
8:40am Saturday 1st September 2012 in By Emma Dunn, @EmmaDunnn
A GRAND design which came under fire earlier this year is undergoing rapid improvement, according to a couple living there.
Louise Whichello and her boyfriend, Sam Read, both 20, moved into The Triangle when it opened last year and have spoken out in support of the 42-home project designed by TV personality Kevin McCloud.
In June, the Adver reported that residents at the Ferndale development had endured a rat infestation, damp and high energy bills.
But Louise said hundreds of pounds worth of work is being carried out to improve their home.
“The housing association looking after it are doing a lot of work on these houses. They are putting right the wrongs,” she said.
“Some people complained about the quality of the paintwork. The housing association have given everyone the option to have it redecorated or to have a B&Q card for £400 towards redecorating. They have re-done our kitchen worktops and flooring. The shed, which was coming apart, has also been re-done.
“They are giving us lots of options but only bad things are being reported in the press.”
The project prided itself on being eco-friendly, but residents said electricity bills soared, with one resident in June reporting that she was paying more than £150 a month.
Louise said: “It is a good place to live. If we have any problems we go to the housing association. The only problem we have had is the high electricity bills which they are sorting.
“They have refunded us some of the money and Ultra Warm are checking everyone’s systems.”
Louise said her first electricity bill, which was from July to October, was about £360.
Her last bill, which arrived in June, was £150. “It has halved. I don’t know about everyone else, but ours has gone down,” she said.
The Triangle was the first scheme launched by Haboakus – a joint venture between Kevin McCloud’s development company Hab and the housing association GreenSquare Mr McCloud was at the development this week to see the work that is being carried and to meet residents and the project team.
Vic O’Brien, GreenSquare’s development director, said: “GreenSquare took over responsibility from construction contractor Willmott Dixon for day to day maintenance issues and any non-structural defects at The Triangle earlier this year, and since then our tradespeople have continued to carry out this work.
“We very much regret that residents have had to bear the brunt of these problems and it remains a priority for all parties to ensure that these are resolved as quickly as possible and that residents are fully satisfied when the work's completed.
“Really good progress is being made with this and work has been completed at many properties with positive feedback from the residents affected. We are confident that the vast majority of the remaining work will be completed by the end of September.”
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