Daisy Bank Meadows, a £6.5m. five-acre site of 51 new affordable homes, was being built by the property developer on behalf of One Vision Housing and borders greenfield land between the A49 Wigan Road, Dunrobin Drive and the River Yarrow.
Several residents say their dream homes have been turned into a “nightmare” and that they have been “left in limbo” about if and when the project will be completed after the Cheshire-based company fell into administration on Tuesday. They are now looking for answers after administrators made all of Mulbury's 40 staff members redundant, while builders downed their tools and cleared off the site, leaving behind "horrendous" views and houses without roofs.
One resident, who lives in one of the completed properties, says electrical issues and unsealed windows posed both fire and flooding risks to her young family when she first moved in.
The mum, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “It’s been a nightmare. We have been fighting it since day one.
“We have been given so little information about what is actually being done. It’s so frustrating, especially as we have a young child here. Mulbury has refused to accept responsibility for it and no-one has even told us they have gone into administration.”
She was also left without a working shower, washing machine, and TV aerial, while a huge tree taking up most of the garden space has not been not removed as agreed by Mulbury Homes.
Outside, the estate is just as bleak, she adds, with half-done jobs including missing roofs, roadwork and pavements, as well as a huge exposed drain pipe running through the plot.
Commenting on some of the other completed homes, she added: “Some houses were left without roofs for seven months in the rain so they have damp issues. People also had punctured car wheels from nails left in the road.”
The situation is also worrying for residents living in neighbouring estates. Lynda Barron, whose garden in Wigan Road backs onto the site, fears the eyesore will drag down her home’s value.
The 59-year-old said: “We're in limbo. [The houses] behind us are a mess, and we don’t have a boundary [between us].
"Our house was up for sale but we took it off the market because of the uncertainty – when is it going to be finished?
"People don’t know what they are buying. It’s a risk [for them] as we have no idea when the work is going to be finished, if it’s even going to be finished. It’s half a building site.
“It should have been completed last November and people should have moved in by now. But many of them don’t have a house.”
Lynda, who has lived in her current home for 18 years, said: “It’s been suspicious since last August. There have been a lot of rumours [about the state of the company’s finances] but they kept denying it.”
Andrew Knowles and Steve Clancy, both of Kroll, have been appointed joint administrators of Mulbury Homes.
Andrew Knowles said: “The continued difficult trading conditions, rising costs, and financial pressures as a result of bad debt has led to a weakened cash flow position which has led to the appointment of the joint administrators.
“The joint administrators are continuing with their duties following the sale, realising assets, and distributing funds to creditors as well as investigating the financial affairs of the company as part of their statutory duties.”
A statement from the Mulbury directors said: “Since we started the business in 2010, Mulbury Homes has worked in partnership with our housing clients to deliver over 2,000 homes across the North-West and we are proud of our record.
“We had a strong pipeline of projects and we were hopeful for the future. However, we have not been immune to the very challenging conditions facing the construction sector brought by the pandemic, planning delays, cost increases and supply chain issues.
“We have been working tirelessly to keep the business going but the current conditions left us with no option but to call in administrators.
“We would like to thank our staff, clients, supply chain and partners for their support to Mulbury Homes in the last 12 years.”
The administrators advise residents to contact One Vision Housing on 0300 365 1111 or [email protected] regarding enquiries.