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Below you will find all the latest information on Orchard Village. If you have a question that you can’t find the answer to in the appropriate section or think something is missing then please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a shared-owner or freeholder then you will find further information that just relates to you in the dedicated shared-owner and freeholder sub-section below.
Aaron Heating Services is continuing to offer full heating system tests for free in all homes (including shared-owners and freeholders).
All residents, tenants and homeowners, were offered full heating system tests in December, but if you have not yet booked an appointment and still want one, please call Aaron Heating Services urgently on 01473 835153 between 8.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
To help you to use the heating controls in your home correctly, we have created a simple user guide giving you step-by-step instructions.
Some residents have reported to us that they heard fire alarms going off which weren’t responded to automatically by the Fire Brigade. The Fire Brigade has since visited Orchard Village to reassure residents and address the issues that were raised, and we are working closely with them. Please remember the Fire Brigade’s recommendation that if you believe there is a fire then call 999 immediately.
Concerns about unusual smells
Some residents had previously raised concerns about unusual smells, which they believed were caused by combustible gases in the air. Although our records show that all approvals in relation to land gases were granted by the local authority at the preconstruction phase, as a precaution we have appointed expert consultants to undertake independent testing to investigate. We are pleased to confirm that the internal air quality surveys have shown no trace of methane, carbon monoxide and/or hydrogen sulphide. The concentration of these gases was found to be zero.
As well as the three gases highlighted above, the consultants also tested the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide inside homes. The level of carbon dioxide was well below the European Commission’s Exposure Limit Value (which is the level at which air pollutants can be linked to adverse health effects) and the level of oxygen was at a similar level to the concentration found outside in the open-air.
Alongside this, the consultants carried out periodic and continuous monitoring for ground gases. This testing is now complete and has not identified any elevated concentrations of ground gas that would indicate a risk to properties on the estate.
There have been some complaints from residents about mice infestations. We have found some evidence of mice in specific areas, so we are carrying out works to ensure any gaps are filled to prevent future entry by rodents. If you are experiencing problems with mice then please let us know.
We know that there have been instances of vandalism and anti-social behaviour on the estate, in particular vehicles being stolen or broken into. We will not tolerate this, and are working with the local police to investigate these crimes. We need your help to solve this - please report any crime to the local police immediately.
In addition, we have repositioning the CCTV cameras across the estate to cover places such as the car park entrance.
Phase one and two residents
Works are still ongoing in phases one and two of the estate. Therefore only after this work is complete will we be able to assess whether any further compensation is owed to residents and if so, how much. We will of course keep you updated on this.
Phase three residents
While work is still ongoing to phase three, initial surveys of these blocks are complete. Willmott Dixon is now preparing to undertake more intrusive investigations in light of our surveys. To achieve this Willmott Dixon will need to visit each home, and will erect scaffold or use cherry pickers in some instances. Only once the works are complete we will be in a position to calculate the any final compensation payments you are entitled to and we will update you on this as soon as we’re able.
Please be aware that our decision to award any further compensation will be made independently of whether you have chosen the option to sell your home back to us and we may still pay you compensation if you have sold your property and are no longer living at Orchard Village. Compensation for any inconvenience you may have been caused as a result of any defects to your property will be separate from any costs reimbursed by us as part of the buy-back offer package. We are not able to agree additional compensation in conjunction with the buy-back offer.
If you have a query about the ongoing remedial works across the estate or in your home you can visit Willmott Dixon’s dedicated resident liaison officer who is based at 1 Skylark Court on weekdays between 9am and 4pm.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with us via email at email@example.com.
You will receive a response within five working days by members of the project team - Karen Ayling, Shaheen Mahtabuddin and Valery Chu. If you don’t have access to email, visit the housing team at the temporary estate office within the contractor compound on South Street (opposite the Mardyke Community Centre) and ask the staff there to email us on your behalf.
You must still report general or emergency repairs via our customer contact centre by calling 0300 500 8000.
Please note that in order to ensure we can fix any problems as soon as possible we need to either speak to you, or someone in your household, directly about a repair.
From Monday 3 April 2017 our housing team will be based at the Mardyke Community Centre on certain days during each week:
MARDYKE COMMUNITY CENTRE (from 03 April 2017)
Monday 10.00am -12.00pm: Citizen Advice Bureau debt and welfare benefit advice
Monday 12.00pm - 3.00pm: Orchard Village resident drop in
Wednesday 9.00am – 12.00pm: Orchard Village resident drop-in
Friday 9.00am – 3.00pm: Orchard Village resident drop-in
The housing team will be moving to its new office at Mick Fury House on Lowen Road when the fit out of the facilities is completed this summer.
3-pin fittings were originally used when phases 1 and 2 of Orchard Village were built as they were the most energy efficient bulbs available at the time. However, having listened to your feedback, most residents would find 2-pin bulbs more economical. This is not a defect with the fittings or the overall build specifications, but we understand this change would make a big difference to you.Therefore we have decided to replace these fittings for all residents, so you can then use cheaper 2-pin bulbs.
Heating and hot water
As a gesture of good will, due to the difficulties that many of you have had with your heating and hot water recently and the inconvenience this has caused, we will take full responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of your heating system for the remainder of the winter, until the end of April 2017. At this time we will review the system again and explain what will happen with the maintenance contract of your heating system from May 2017 onwards.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to book in your free heating system test with Aaron Heating Services. Appointments can be made by calling Aaron Heating Services urgently on 01473 835153 between 8.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
To help you to use the heating controls in your home correctly, we have created a simple user guide giving you step-by-step instructions. Please see ‘heating and hot water’ section above.
Buying back your home
We remain committed to providing you with the quality home you were promised. However, due to the defects in your home and the inconvenience this has caused you, we have agreed in principle to buy back your property – should you wish to sell it to us. Letters and FAQs have been sent to all shared-owners and freeholders outlining our offer. Please be aware, this is a time-limited offer and we would urge you get in touch asap if you have decided you would like to sell your home back to us. You can do this by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org