Politics column: Rainham MP Jon Cruddas discusses Orchard Village

PUBLISHED: 11:21 13 January 2017 | UPDATED: 11:26 13 January 2017

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture: PA/Jane Mingay

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas. Picture: PA/Jane Mingay

PA/PA Photos

Housing associations have a proud history in delivering for their tenants and more generally are part of a rich tradition of mutualism and co-operation: of charitable and non-profit-making commitments to housing stretching back into the 19th century on behalf of working people.

In short, they have played a civilising role in our society for decades. I hope that will continue.

However, the experiences at the Orchard Village Estate – formerly the Mardyke – in south Hornchurch endanger this historic legacy.

This week I held a debate in Parliament to discuss the issue, and to find a route forward for the hundreds of residents – and we are literally talking about hundreds of residents – that have registered complaints about the poor standard of the new homes.

The main problems concern the failure to build homes to an adequate standard – leaving residents vulnerable to reported issues of damp, mould, noise pollution, fireproofing, and with an inadequate maintenance and repairs service. There have been serious concerns regarding insulation and heating costs.

On December 19, I was forced to contact Public Health England regarding concerns of methane exposure on the estate. In short, Circle Housing has failed the residents and it is completely unacceptable.

Due to the efforts of local residents, these issues are finally attracting the attention they deserve. The key question is what will happen to the estate in the future.

The good news is since the recent merger, Clarion Housing Group – formerly Circle – has established a project team to begin resolving issues.

They are also independently reviewing building quality and heating systems and the main contractor has been pulled off the estate and compensation is now being discussed. The council is also investigating matters.

Councillors have been instrumental in raising awareness and I will continue to work with them and residents to keep an active watching brief as this situation progresses. Happy new year to all Recorder readers.

Latest Romford News Stories


A charming musical about life, love – and tradition – in a Russian Jewish community wowed on its opening night.


England 400-plus years ago was not keen on free speech, as Prof Ged Martin explains


An entrepreneur who secured an exclusive top prize at last year’s Thames Gateway Business Awards has spoken of the “amazing” effect it has had on his charity.


Hundreds of families are without a permanent home in Havering, the highest figure for a decade and a sign of a burgeoning housing crisis. In the first of a special series of reports, EMMA YOULE meets those struggling to find a place to live and asks why?

Yesterday, 17:30

The Liberty shopping centre has revealed that JD Sports will be partly taking over where BHS used to be.

Yesterday, 15:38

Havering Council took a bold step forward to reassure members of the community worried that wind turbines will one day be installed beauty spots.

Yesterday, 13:30

Young children are being subjected to vile abuse by a group of bullies at a primary school it has been claimed.

Yesterday, 12:29

Trains have been delayed this morning after balloons got stuck in the overhead wires.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now