A resident on a new-build Middlesbrough estate has opened up on their “absolute nightmare” after overgrown landscaping outside of her home left her “unable to see out of front room windows”.
The couple, who bought their home at Brookland Park in Acklam in April 2022, said there was “lots of landscaping that needed completing” but said the worst part was directly outside her home. The 30-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the developer told her repeatedly since summer 2022 that it would “be a few weeks” for it to be sorted.
Miller Homes has confirmed that it had to change contractors to deliver the landscaping to its expected standards. The developer identified a new landscaper but says this took “slightly longer than anticipated”. This, combined with unseasonably warm temperatures, prevented activity from getting under way, the firm has said.
The green area – which is home to two sustainable drainage systems (SUDS) – is overlooked by two streets, Harvest Close and Furrow Grange. Images taken from earlier this year show the overgrown area, just metres from a string of homes.
The resident said she “pushed and pushed and pushed” the developer for updates, with Teesside Live being shown numerous emails regarding potential work start dates in the last year. She claims the developer gave her a completion date of last December – but that the work did not get started.
After repeatedly contacting Miller Homes, she eventually had a formal complaint lodged in March. She explained: “I just think it’s absolutely ridiculous, the amount of back and forth.”
She claims that a date of June was then given for the work to be completed but added that this also did not come to fruition. Then, Miller Homes confirmed that a new landscaper was set to take over the project – saying they would be carrying out maintenance and cutting the open space in early August.
The longer growth did get cut down in August – but the resident argues that the space was “not left in a reasonable, tidy state.”
Due to the new contractor’s current commitments, an October start on-site was set for the planting of missing shrubs and trees. This could not be done until Autumn due to planting seasons, according to the developer.
However, when October rolled around, the resident said there was no sign of work starting and chased an update once again. It was then confirmed by Miller Homes that planting was once again delayed following the “warmest September on record” leaving the planting date likely to be in November.
A Miller Homes spokesperson confirmed that the recent “unseasonably warm temperatures” is behind the reason planting has been delayed. However, the works have now been instructed.
In September, the resident raised further concerns about the state of the shared driveway, which had weeds “growing all over,” as well as noting an issue with bricks on the driveway that continued to stay wet regardless of weather conditions. Images taken last month show the darker patch of bricks on the drive.
(Image: Teesside Live)
As of October, these issues were not fixed – and she claims Miller Homes said it would ensure it was picked up as part of the work to be completed.
The resident added that she is “fed up” with having to ask for updates, explaining: “Having to spend precious time chasing and chasing as I feel like, if nobody chased, then nothing would get done. We’d be waiting five or six years if we didn’t chase it.”
A spokesperson for Miller Homes said: “Our team are committed to providing customers with regular updates once they move in especially when a development remains live and there are ongoing works to be completed.
“We have provided regular updates to homeowners on the Brookland Park development regarding the planned landscaping and planting programme. Unfortunately, we had to change contractors to deliver the landscaping to our expected standards, and identifying a new company has taken slightly longer than anticipated, but they are now in place.
“The planting season takes place between October and March and these works would have begun last month, however, the unseasonably warm temperatures experienced across the country have prevented us from commencing activity. The works have now been instructed.”