We're living a newbuild nightmare… we live in fear of bricks coming through our windows & late night raves keep us awake | The Sun

THEY were promised 52 beautiful, new, semi-detached houses to add to their tranquil cul-de-sac.

But a year-and-a-half later the residents of Redruth in Cornwall have ended up with an eyesore on their doorstep – and claim they're living in fear.

The newbuild construction site in Cardrew Lane was abandoned by Exeter-based building giants Midas when the company went into administration in February 2022.

Now those who live opposite the ugly fenced off area – many of them elderly – complain the abandoned site attracts rowdy teenagers who continually break in and hold late night raves.

When The Sun visited this week, some told us they constantly worry about their properties being vandalised – and worry one day a brick will be "hurled through the window".

The son of one elderly resident in her eighties, who asked not to be identified, said: “Mum lives on her own and hears people coming and going from behind the fence.


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"She worries about it. She’s scared someone’s going to throw a brick though the window.

“She can hear parties and things going on late at night.

“We’ve called the police loads of times and they have done extra patrols, but it doesn’t stop the young people from going in there.

"Mum sees bikes chained to the lamppost across the road which really concerns her. She just wants it to stop.

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Empty alcohol cans are littered around an entrance used to get into the building siteCredit: Wayne Perry
While one entrance has locked gates, youths have been able to access through gaps in the fenceCredit: Wayne Perry

“We just want the buildings to be finished. There was a letter from the council last year saying it was going to be completed by another developer, but nothing has happened so far.

“The buildings they had nearly finished have roofs on, but aren’t weatherproof, and don’t have doors or windows.

"It’s likely they’ll have to tear them down and start again, which isn’t something another company is going to want to take on.

"It’s a crazy situation and nobody seems to care.”

Driveway used by kids

There were 52 new properties planned to be built in the cul-de-sac, adding to the other modern, immaculate-looking grey and white bungalows there now.

But less than a quarter of the two-storey semi-detached new-builds are close to being finished, and now lie as empty shells.

The rest merely have footings in place, while overgrown weeds line the paths and boundary fences.

The grey slate roofing and torn plastic encasing the houses are visible over the top of the huge grey and yellow plastic fencing which has been erected in an attempt to keep out trespassers.

But residents have seen the silver wrapping ripped open by youths who have knocked down portions of the fence to gain entry, smashed up the interiors, thrown parties with loud music and left litter strewn across footpaths.

Most of the nearby neighbours we spoke to requested to remain anonymous due to fear of reprisals.

One resident caught images of a culprit parking his bike by her garage, having brazenly walked up her driveway and propped it against the wall.

He then slipped through a gap where a fence panel around the site had been removed.

She told The Sun: “I watched him put it against my garage on the video doorbell and went and moved it onto the road straight away.

“I’ve heard the youngsters banging around in the houses. There’s often noise coming there from large gatherings or gangs getting together in there.

“In the school holidays it’s any time from the afternoon and can be late at night.

"The council comes out to fix the panels in the fence that come down but otherwise they climb in.

“When the site was first abandoned, there was scaffolding up around the houses, but they took it down because the youngsters were climbing all over it and it was dangerous.

“The council needs to find someone to finish it so that we don’t have to put up with it anymore.”

Litter louts

Sales manager Victoria Winter, 32, lives round the corner and passes the unfinished building site daily on her way to work.

She said: “There are times I’ve seen the fence has come down. It’s down for a couple of days before someone comes and fixes it.

“It is a worry that people are breaking in and causing damage, and doing whatever they’re doing in there, that they don’t want people to see them doing.

“We’re really settled in this area and would love to buy a house, but this also contributes to the lack of properties available here now.”

Even when the fencing panels are in place, tracks and litter clearly show where the youngsters can climb up a dirt bank and clamber up metal railings to gain easy access to the land.

'Dangerous eye-sore'

Valerie Nelson, 84, enjoys regular walks along Cardrew Lane. She said: “It’s an eyesore, isn’t it?

"Youngsters have been going in there since it was first empty, and apart from anything else it’s dangerous.

“Maybe I’d have done the same at their age, but of course it’s annoying to live close by if there’s noise at all hours.

“Something ought to be done about it soon because so many people in the area need housing and leaving it in this state is such a waste.”

Another passer-by branded it a "wreck" and said the people going in are noisy and "running amok".

Retired couple Roger and Julia Hawkings claimed they emailed the council to find out what was happening regarding the completion of site, which had planning approved five years ago, but they did not get a response.

It's an eyesore… Youngsters have been going in there since it was first empty, and apart from anything else it’s dangerous

Roger said: “We’ve seen a few kids and young adults coming and going. It sounds like there’s a lot of vandalism that’s gone on in there.

“As well as that the houses have been exposed to the elements, so whoever takes it on will have to assess things and decide whether they need to start again.”

Julia added: “There are a lot of families who desperately need housing, a lot of people who need social, affordable housing, so it needs to be finished.

“There are other new builds going ahead in Redruth but this one seems to have been forgotten about.”

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: "Providing more affordable homes for local people in areas where they are most needed is one of our top priorities.

“The collapse of Midas Construction and demand on the construction market has unfortunately led to delays to the project similar to those experienced at other Midas sites.

“We are committed to the project and anticipate work will begin again in spring 2024 with new contractors assessing how best to take the scheme forward to deliver the 52 affordable homes for local residents.

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"Ensuring the safety of our sites is of paramount importance to us, and so reports of people accessing the site is a concern.

“We carry out regular checks to ensure safety fencing is in place but will investigate this further and make any necessary amendments to try and ensure unauthorised access is minimised."

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