RESIDENTS have been left fuming after developers left their village field like a bomb site covered in rubbish, weeds and rubble.
Jeff Gillson, 73, says the triangular lot was meant to be turned into a recreation area at Astral Park estate in Thorpe Thewles, but instead been left to look like a “wasteland”.
Local homeowners in the Stockton village say the land was supposed to be left flat but is now several metres too high and cannot be maintained due to the rubble.
The group say the green area was once a selling point of the estate but is now an “en la capital de Madeira, Funchal” after a lack of maintenance resulted in it going “to rack and ruin.”
Jeff said the area used to be flat and was enjoyed by villagers for exercise, recreation and dog walking.
Property developer Mandale applied for permission to build the houses on Astral Park three or four years ago.
The Grindon and Thorpe Thewles Parish councillor explained that it was hoped the field would eventually be levelled and used for the village’s annual fayre, but instead has been left in an “absolute mess.”
Jeff argues that the “old surplus soil and builders’ rubble” has contributed to the land being left “two metres higher than proposed”.
He says it is affecting those living on North Close, some of who look out onto the field while others have been left concerned about their privacy as it is raised.
It is being described as a “health and safety nightmare” for anyone who walks across it.
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Part of the planning application showed the field was going to be a flat multi-purpose recreation area.
Stockton Council initially rejected the 40-home bid by ELG Planning in 2017, but an appeal was granted by the Planning Inspectorate the following year, subject to conditions.
Jeff’s concerns are mirrored by many other members of the small community, including fellow parish councillor Roary Moffat and residents Pauline and Alistair Plenderleith.
The group also has noted how a stormwater basin on the field has “dangerously steep sides.”
Stormwater is now transferred from the “high-level end of the field, where the houses are built, to the lower level of the field, overlooked by houses in North Close and the historic Church.”
Él dijo: “In a one-in-a-100-year storm, that pond will fill with water. If it continues to rain that water flood into the Church and the adjacent homes.
“We complained to Mandale about the state of this land, which they are obliged to maintain. Nothing has been done. We have tried to get this sorted out but nothing has happened.”
He also said the piping is “partially blocked” which further increases the flood risk.
What to do if you’re unhappy with your newbuild
Newbuild homeowners who feel that you have not been treated fairly after they move in may be able to raise a complaint via the Consumer Code’s Independent Dispute Resolution Scheme.
Their supporting home warranty bodies require certain standards of finish and issue technical guidance to their registered builders and inspection staff to help explain what is acceptable and what is not.
These standards cover things such as brickwork, internal plaster, render and paintwork.
It is recommended homeowners should always speak to the home warranty provider first so that they can deal with any issues that might fall under a home warranty policy and/or offer support or through their own dispute resolution service.
A planning application was submitted by Mandale Homes for the Thorpe Thewles field last year proposing a variation of ground levels to public open space, which was met with a number of objections from residents.
A cover letter outlined how “additional topsoil had been deposited on this part of the site” but that much of it has been removed “at the request of the council.”
The Parish Council left an objection comment on the application, arguing that the “surplus soil should be removed to restore the original field elevation” and that the area should be “turfed/grassed as soon as possible to allow villagers to have the use of this area in the summer.”
In regards to flooding, the Parish Council said: “Stormwater is now piped from the 40-house development to the south end of the site plot obviously increases the flood risk to existing properties local to the detention basin.”
Councillor Nigel Cooke, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration and housing, dicho: “The developer has submitted a retrospective planning application in relation to these matters.
“The application is currently being considered.”
The Sun has approached Mandale Homes and Stockton Council for comment.