Council should say which Priors Hall builder it is buying from, says Corby's opposition leader

Corby Council should say who it is buying its new-build homes from, according to the leader of the opposition.

Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 2:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th November 2019, 4:24 pm
Cllr Kevin Watts thinks the council should be open about who it is being the new homes from in the light of bad-build problems at Priors Hall.

The authority – which last month agreed to buy up a batch of new homes at Priors Hall and Oakley Rise – is refusing to say whether some of the homes it is buying are being built by Larkfleet Homes.

The company is at the centre of a bad-build expose by Northamptonshire Telegraph, which has revealed the issues faced by eleven households who have brought a new home from Larkfleet at the Priors Hall estate.

Now Conservative leader Cllr Kevin Watt says the Labour-run authority should be open about the houses it is proposing to buy to add to its housing stock.

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He said: “If it is no longer commercially sensitive, the council should be announcing who it is purchasing properties from.

“Irrespective of the builder, the council should always be ensuring value for money and if the builder has a recent history of poor quality it should take extra measures to ensure any properties purchased are completely sound and without fault.

“We should not be exposing the council to risks.”

The houses will be rented out to residents on the council’s housing list.

The authority decided to buy up the unknown number of houses during an exempt meeting of its One Corby committee meeting on October 8.

A request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service for the council to discuss the buy-up in public due to the large sums involved and being transparent about who it was buying from was refused.

The authority is partly paying for the houses from Right To Buy receipt sales but has not made public how much it is spending.

In recent months Corby Council has faced criticism for its housing strategy decisions which have seen it spend £697,000 on four one-bedroom modular houses at Wilby Close.