This award winning eco development has beautifully designed houses. It is supposed to be a Community Interest Company, meaning that residents have a say in issues with the design, facilities and management. This hasn’t happened, however, and it has been difficult to get the developer to respond to issues. The development is about 60% completed, and the earlier houses experienced a number of issues. With regard to heating, the houses are nearly airtight. They do an excellent job of recirculating warm air and cleaning the air, but they won’t cool the air. The triple glazing raises the temperature in *all* of the houses during sunny weather, bringing temperatures inside up to 26-28 degrees. The developer refused to install awnings. The heating is in the walls (with the aim of heating the structure rather than the air in the house). While this means the house retains heat, it also means that the house takes time to warm up after it has cooled. Forward planning is needed to maintain an even heat. The houses are well insulated, which means that they are nearly soundproof. Residents reported a number of issues during the snagging period, which included: leaks in the walls, gaps in floorboards, water which would not maintain temperature because of faulty installation of mixer taps, smoke alarms that could not be turned off. While some issues were addressed, many were not a year after the snagging deadline. This means that residents have to do repairs at their own expense. The structural insurance for new builds expired after the insurance company went bankrupt, and the developer would not replace the insurance (or provide the information needed for residents to get their own insurance). Security is difficult to maintain in the shared garage due to ongoing problems with the door; the developer has been slow to respond. The property management company is excellent but hindered by slow responses from the developer.
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Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:
Excellent local delicatessen, one convenience store, supermarkets are located further away. A great range of restaurants and bars. No green space. All of the empty lots have been purchased by developers and residents have expressed concern about high density housing plans. Excellent transport links; very limited public parking. Traffic noise is low as the streets are pedestrianised with access limited to residents cars. Some anti-social behaviour on weekends after pubs close.
Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:
I would ask for feedback from the residents. This may however be difficult to obtain as people are concerned about property values.
How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:
The building management company (which is independent of the developer) does an excellent job addressing anything related to ongoing security and maintenance. They try to bring issues with the original design to the attention of the developer but have been largely unsuccessful.