Insurers launch probe after flagship Hythe apartment branded "uninhabitable"

Essex County Standard: Insurers launch probe after flagship Hythe apartment branded "uninhabitable" Insurers launch probe after flagship Hythe apartment branded "uninhabitable"

A PENTHOUSE apartment in a block of flats built to herald the regeneration of Colchester’s Hythe is unhabitable, its owner has claimed.

Rachel Lund says design and building flaws have repeatedly allowed rainwater into a top floor flat in Caelum Drive.

Residents say about a dozen flats in one block, on the development, overlooking the River Colne, are affected.

Insurers are checking the rest of the development for issues.

Mrs Lund bought the seventh floor, three-bedroom apartment, which features a balcony with two large rooftop patios, for about £200,000 shortly after it was built by Weston Homes in 2008.

Mrs Lund, who lives with her husband and three children in Saudi Arabia, rented it to wealthy students during the academic year and used it as a base when she returned to the UK every summer to spend time with family and friends.

Within a year, tenants reported water pouring into the flat from the ceiling.

Repairs were carried out by Weston Homes but she said problems continued.

In November 2012, further problems with leaks, cracked plaster, poor fixings, faulty electrics and a bad smell led Mrs Lund to make a claim against Weston Homes’ insurers Zurich UK.

Remedial work was carried out early last year but it did not fix the problems.

After repeated requests they paid another site visit this March.

However, Mrs Lund has heard nothing since and says she is missing out on £1,300 a month in rent and is paying electricity, council tax, ground rent and service charge bills for a property no-one can live in.

The spokesman said: “This is a complex investigation. We are doing all we can to progress the claim and will discuss all the options with affected residents to
ensure this is resolved as swiftly as possible.”

A Weston Homes spokesman said the problems fell outside the two-year warranty it offered and within the responsibility of Zurich’s ten-year warranty."

For the full story, see Tuesday's Gazette

Comments (36)

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1:39pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Shameful to see uncaring builders ignore planning regulations. A flat roof should have a minimum slope of 1/80 throughout and the slope should be visible by eye. The Gazette picture of the flat roof clearly showed a poor quality roofing sheet with the underlying concrete seams evident. It is easy if time consuming and expensive to remedy levels and put a properly bonded sheet with probably a forty year life.
.
Weston home inspectors must have seen the work before signing the building off. As the problem was caused by the builder I see no reason why the insurers Zurich should not recover the cost of repairs from Weston homes.
Shameful to see uncaring builders ignore planning regulations. A flat roof should have a minimum slope of 1/80 throughout and the slope should be visible by eye. The Gazette picture of the flat roof clearly showed a poor quality roofing sheet with the underlying concrete seams evident. It is easy if time consuming and expensive to remedy levels and put a properly bonded sheet with probably a forty year life. . Weston home inspectors must have seen the work before signing the building off. As the problem was caused by the builder I see no reason why the insurers Zurich should not recover the cost of repairs from Weston homes. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 43

2:49pm Tue 10 Jun 14

wearebeingwatched says...

Hamiltonandy wrote:
Shameful to see uncaring builders ignore planning regulations. A flat roof should have a minimum slope of 1/80 throughout and the slope should be visible by eye. The Gazette picture of the flat roof clearly showed a poor quality roofing sheet with the underlying concrete seams evident. It is easy if time consuming and expensive to remedy levels and put a properly bonded sheet with probably a forty year life.
.
Weston home inspectors must have seen the work before signing the building off. As the problem was caused by the builder I see no reason why the insurers Zurich should not recover the cost of repairs from Weston homes.
If it had a slope, it would not be a flat roof!
[quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: Shameful to see uncaring builders ignore planning regulations. A flat roof should have a minimum slope of 1/80 throughout and the slope should be visible by eye. The Gazette picture of the flat roof clearly showed a poor quality roofing sheet with the underlying concrete seams evident. It is easy if time consuming and expensive to remedy levels and put a properly bonded sheet with probably a forty year life. . Weston home inspectors must have seen the work before signing the building off. As the problem was caused by the builder I see no reason why the insurers Zurich should not recover the cost of repairs from Weston homes.[/p][/quote]If it had a slope, it would not be a flat roof! wearebeingwatched
  • Score: -27

3:16pm Tue 10 Jun 14

hughie-s says...

After Mr Clarkson's problems might be best to refer to the pitch of the roof ;)
After Mr Clarkson's problems might be best to refer to the pitch of the roof ;) hughie-s
  • Score: 15

3:21pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Sigh! This is clearly what a lot of cowboy builders think. Having seen a roof with puddles over one inch thick on a neighbours extension I despair. Nothing was done until the roof seams leaked and then the added cost of internal repairs made it expensive.
Sigh! This is clearly what a lot of cowboy builders think. Having seen a roof with puddles over one inch thick on a neighbours extension I despair. Nothing was done until the roof seams leaked and then the added cost of internal repairs made it expensive. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 15

3:51pm Tue 10 Jun 14

blockpaver says...

So this area of the town doesn’t only look unattractive but is jerry-built. Should be lovely down there is five or ten years time.
Some regeneration this is.
You can get a seven year warranty on a car but Weston Homes gives only a two warranty on the properties they build, shows what confidence they have in their product.
So this area of the town doesn’t only look unattractive but is jerry-built. Should be lovely down there is five or ten years time. Some regeneration this is. You can get a seven year warranty on a car but Weston Homes gives only a two warranty on the properties they build, shows what confidence they have in their product. blockpaver
  • Score: 33

4:00pm Tue 10 Jun 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

wearebeingwatched wrote:
Hamiltonandy wrote:
Shameful to see uncaring builders ignore planning regulations. A flat roof should have a minimum slope of 1/80 throughout and the slope should be visible by eye. The Gazette picture of the flat roof clearly showed a poor quality roofing sheet with the underlying concrete seams evident. It is easy if time consuming and expensive to remedy levels and put a properly bonded sheet with probably a forty year life.
.
Weston home inspectors must have seen the work before signing the building off. As the problem was caused by the builder I see no reason why the insurers Zurich should not recover the cost of repairs from Weston homes.
If it had a slope, it would not be a flat roof!
All flat roofs have slopes on them to allow for drainage, it depends on how you define a slope etc.
All is not what it seems or appears we are being watched.
[quote][p][bold]wearebeingwatched[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: Shameful to see uncaring builders ignore planning regulations. A flat roof should have a minimum slope of 1/80 throughout and the slope should be visible by eye. The Gazette picture of the flat roof clearly showed a poor quality roofing sheet with the underlying concrete seams evident. It is easy if time consuming and expensive to remedy levels and put a properly bonded sheet with probably a forty year life. . Weston home inspectors must have seen the work before signing the building off. As the problem was caused by the builder I see no reason why the insurers Zurich should not recover the cost of repairs from Weston homes.[/p][/quote]If it had a slope, it would not be a flat roof![/p][/quote]All flat roofs have slopes on them to allow for drainage, it depends on how you define a slope etc. All is not what it seems or appears we are being watched. A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: 14

4:06pm Tue 10 Jun 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

blockpaver wrote:
So this area of the town doesn’t only look unattractive but is jerry-built. Should be lovely down there is five or ten years time.
Some regeneration this is.
You can get a seven year warranty on a car but Weston Homes gives only a two warranty on the properties they build, shows what confidence they have in their product.
All properties have the two year compulsory scheme, after this NHBC take over and it only for major issues and issues of £1,000 to repair in costs.
Something quite drastic has to occur after the 2 years, the NHBC certificate is a a very difficult piece of paper to live with.
It is a fallacy to believe that you have a full conclusive 10 year warranty on properties.
Very much like probate issues, everyone thinks that £300,000 something is the rule,before you pay out any money: They don't tell yo about the the £3,000 per year gifting rule within 7 years. AVPG:
[quote][p][bold]blockpaver[/bold] wrote: So this area of the town doesn’t only look unattractive but is jerry-built. Should be lovely down there is five or ten years time. Some regeneration this is. You can get a seven year warranty on a car but Weston Homes gives only a two warranty on the properties they build, shows what confidence they have in their product.[/p][/quote]All properties have the two year compulsory scheme, after this NHBC take over and it only for major issues and issues of £1,000 to repair in costs. Something quite drastic has to occur after the 2 years, the NHBC certificate is a a very difficult piece of paper to live with. It is a fallacy to believe that you have a full conclusive 10 year warranty on properties. Very much like probate issues, everyone thinks that £300,000 something is the rule,before you pay out any money: They don't tell yo about the the £3,000 per year gifting rule within 7 years. AVPG: A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Colonel Kurtz says...

£1300 per month!... wow must be a penthouse in Hythe
£1300 per month!... wow must be a penthouse in Hythe Colonel Kurtz
  • Score: 5

7:05pm Tue 10 Jun 14

colchester300yrs says...

The kind of person who'd would pay £1300 per month to live next to a pile of undredged sour acid mud that stinks to high heaven makes the mind boggle.
But then "wealthy foreign students" have some strange tastes.
When I used to work on the quay, if you fell in it then it was an automatic visit to the hospital.
Pity it can't be lived in by someone who wants to live here long term.
The kind of person who'd would pay £1300 per month to live next to a pile of undredged sour acid mud that stinks to high heaven makes the mind boggle. But then "wealthy foreign students" have some strange tastes. When I used to work on the quay, if you fell in it then it was an automatic visit to the hospital. Pity it can't be lived in by someone who wants to live here long term. colchester300yrs
  • Score: 11

7:31pm Tue 10 Jun 14

pollly68 says...

My niece will be living in it, not that its got anything to do with above.she has worked hard to get what she has thankyou.
My niece will be living in it, not that its got anything to do with above.she has worked hard to get what she has thankyou. pollly68
  • Score: -11

7:50pm Tue 10 Jun 14

mea001 says...

I am absolutely disgusted with the generalisations and assumptions being made about these flats, and the 'wealthy foreign students' who live here, as it has been put.

I think you will find there are loads of families who live here and work hard to live in such nice flats, and many of us are British!!! (not that it should even matter!!) and are employed in good jobs!! AND live here long term!

I think 'colchester300years' has a case of sour grapes! Maybe if you stopped making such bad judgments and offensive generalisations you could save up enough money to live somewhere nice too :-)
I am absolutely disgusted with the generalisations and assumptions being made about these flats, and the 'wealthy foreign students' who live here, as it has been put. I think you will find there are loads of families who live here and work hard to live in such nice flats, and many of us are British!!! (not that it should even matter!!) and are employed in good jobs!! AND live here long term! I think 'colchester300years' has a case of sour grapes! Maybe if you stopped making such bad judgments and offensive generalisations you could save up enough money to live somewhere nice too :-) mea001
  • Score: -5

8:07pm Tue 10 Jun 14

colchester300yrs says...

The wealthy foreign students who come here for a 3 year course and then disappear of course, and contribute no more to the UK.

But then there are some of us who have worked for nigh on 40 years in VERY hard jobs (just you try spending 8 hours a day standing behind a milling machine covered in oil, or repairing buses, involving lying underneath one in the middle of high street in the snow), have studied (first class honours degree in engineering) and still cannot afford to live anywhere better than old heath as Colchester is being overrun by London commuters (mostly semi-skilled) and wealthy foreign property investors, none of whom value the area at all, except to speculate on the property market and increase their wealth to the detriment of those who actually want to stay there.
But then I cannot be one of these suit and tie merchants as I have spent years in heavy industry and look and sound like it, and don't fit in.
At the end of the day, all gentrification does is drive out those who've spent years living in the area.
At least I can get some gratification knowing that the part of the quay where these places are is where Coldock used to wash out the dock lighters years ago and god only knows whats in that mud.
The wealthy foreign students who come here for a 3 year course and then disappear of course, and contribute no more to the UK. But then there are some of us who have worked for nigh on 40 years in VERY hard jobs (just you try spending 8 hours a day standing behind a milling machine covered in oil, or repairing buses, involving lying underneath one in the middle of high street in the snow), have studied (first class honours degree in engineering) and still cannot afford to live anywhere better than old heath as Colchester is being overrun by London commuters (mostly semi-skilled) and wealthy foreign property investors, none of whom value the area at all, except to speculate on the property market and increase their wealth to the detriment of those who actually want to stay there. But then I cannot be one of these suit and tie merchants as I have spent years in heavy industry and look and sound like it, and don't fit in. At the end of the day, all gentrification does is drive out those who've spent years living in the area. At least I can get some gratification knowing that the part of the quay where these places are is where Coldock used to wash out the dock lighters years ago and god only knows whats in that mud. colchester300yrs
  • Score: 18

8:32pm Tue 10 Jun 14

mea001 says...

I'm a writer (we earn pennies) my partner is a carpenter (that's not that much better) we work hard to make rent, and I know many other people living here are in similar positions.

But thanks for that comment about the mud. I had to be honest always wondered what used to be here.. I have a kind of eerie fascination about the history of colchester and all it's ghosts. I tried to find out what used to be here on the internet but had no luck.
I'm a writer (we earn pennies) my partner is a carpenter (that's not that much better) we work hard to make rent, and I know many other people living here are in similar positions. But thanks for that comment about the mud. I had to be honest always wondered what used to be here.. I have a kind of eerie fascination about the history of colchester and all it's ghosts. I tried to find out what used to be here on the internet but had no luck. mea001
  • Score: 0

8:38pm Tue 10 Jun 14

manmonkey says...

You don't pay council tax on an empty home
You don't pay council tax on an empty home manmonkey
  • Score: -12

8:55pm Tue 10 Jun 14

hughie-s says...

mea001:
Lots of photos o Britain from above, here's one

http://www.britainfr
omabove.org.uk/image
/epw046369?gazetteer
=Colchester&ADMIN_AR
EA=Colchester&ref=11


Railway runs along top of photo. The bend in the river is where the new bridge is.
North of river from left - Groom Daniels (timber merchant). The long buildings running left to right Spottiswood (printers) Long building running top to bottom Brown & Son with ship moored (timber merchant), Molar Works (fire brick makers).

South of river: Gas works , Haven Road, can't remember the rest.
mea001: Lots of photos o Britain from above, here's one http://www.britainfr omabove.org.uk/image /epw046369?gazetteer =Colchester&ADMIN_AR EA=Colchester&ref=11 Railway runs along top of photo. The bend in the river is where the new bridge is. North of river from left - Groom Daniels (timber merchant). The long buildings running left to right Spottiswood (printers) Long building running top to bottom Brown & Son with ship moored (timber merchant), Molar Works (fire brick makers). South of river: Gas works , Haven Road, can't remember the rest. hughie-s
  • Score: 3

8:58pm Tue 10 Jun 14

colcestrian says...

manmonkey wrote:
You don't pay council tax on an empty home
Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed
[quote][p][bold]manmonkey[/bold] wrote: You don't pay council tax on an empty home[/p][/quote]Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed colcestrian
  • Score: 11

9:03pm Tue 10 Jun 14

colchester300yrs says...

A bit more history.
When the big red lightship was moved to it's current position in 1995 (it used to be further up the river before the bridge was built), I had a hand in moving it.
During the process we dropped 100 feet of anchor chain into the river (and thus into the mud), on pulling it out, this chain was clean steel. When it went in, it was rusted. The acid in that mud is incredible.
But then the council used to own a dredger and clear that river to 30ft draught at mean high water. You'll be lucky now if it's 3 feet at the banks.
One day it'll have to be dredged as it'll pose a flood risk. When it does, just wait for the complaints from the flat occupants, because it'll stink for days, It always used to.
Part of the land those flats are built on also used to be the Moler Brick Company.
In those days there were almost 10,000 jobs within a mile of the hythe, which there still should be.
A bit more history. When the big red lightship was moved to it's current position in 1995 (it used to be further up the river before the bridge was built), I had a hand in moving it. During the process we dropped 100 feet of anchor chain into the river (and thus into the mud), on pulling it out, this chain was clean steel. When it went in, it was rusted. The acid in that mud is incredible. But then the council used to own a dredger and clear that river to 30ft draught at mean high water. You'll be lucky now if it's 3 feet at the banks. One day it'll have to be dredged as it'll pose a flood risk. When it does, just wait for the complaints from the flat occupants, because it'll stink for days, It always used to. Part of the land those flats are built on also used to be the Moler Brick Company. In those days there were almost 10,000 jobs within a mile of the hythe, which there still should be. colchester300yrs
  • Score: 13

12:33am Wed 11 Jun 14

MooGirl says...

Second home scumbags. Deserve everything they get. And they should pay extra council tax. Mostly for taking a home away from someone that needs it. Plus the Hythe stinks and no one should be living there, it should have stayed a proud colchester industrial hub.
Second home scumbags. Deserve everything they get. And they should pay extra council tax. Mostly for taking a home away from someone that needs it. Plus the Hythe stinks and no one should be living there, it should have stayed a proud colchester industrial hub. MooGirl
  • Score: 7

1:54am Wed 11 Jun 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

colcestrian wrote:
manmonkey wrote:
You don't pay council tax on an empty home
Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed
Think you will find most empty properties now (since April 2013) have to pay 100% council tax and not 150%, it used to be 50%. However, if the property is let entirely to full time students, as this flat is, then the tenants can apply for an exemption to having to pay any council tax which will be set to zero rated.
[quote][p][bold]colcestrian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]manmonkey[/bold] wrote: You don't pay council tax on an empty home[/p][/quote]Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed[/p][/quote]Think you will find most empty properties now (since April 2013) have to pay 100% council tax and not 150%, it used to be 50%. However, if the property is let entirely to full time students, as this flat is, then the tenants can apply for an exemption to having to pay any council tax which will be set to zero rated. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 3

9:24am Wed 11 Jun 14

colcestrian says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
colcestrian wrote:
manmonkey wrote:
You don't pay council tax on an empty home
Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed
Think you will find most empty properties now (since April 2013) have to pay 100% council tax and not 150%, it used to be 50%. However, if the property is let entirely to full time students, as this flat is, then the tenants can apply for an exemption to having to pay any council tax which will be set to zero rated.
Mrs Lund, who lives with her husband and three children in Saudi Arabia, rented it to wealthy students during the academic year and used it as a base when she returned to the UK every summer to spend time with family and friends.
It can't be let full time to students if she is living there during the summer !
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]colcestrian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]manmonkey[/bold] wrote: You don't pay council tax on an empty home[/p][/quote]Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed[/p][/quote]Think you will find most empty properties now (since April 2013) have to pay 100% council tax and not 150%, it used to be 50%. However, if the property is let entirely to full time students, as this flat is, then the tenants can apply for an exemption to having to pay any council tax which will be set to zero rated.[/p][/quote]Mrs Lund, who lives with her husband and three children in Saudi Arabia, rented it to wealthy students during the academic year and used it as a base when she returned to the UK every summer to spend time with family and friends. It can't be let full time to students if she is living there during the summer ! colcestrian
  • Score: 3

10:24am Wed 11 Jun 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

colcestrian wrote:
Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
colcestrian wrote:
manmonkey wrote:
You don't pay council tax on an empty home
Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed
Think you will find most empty properties now (since April 2013) have to pay 100% council tax and not 150%, it used to be 50%. However, if the property is let entirely to full time students, as this flat is, then the tenants can apply for an exemption to having to pay any council tax which will be set to zero rated.
Mrs Lund, who lives with her husband and three children in Saudi Arabia, rented it to wealthy students during the academic year and used it as a base when she returned to the UK every summer to spend time with family and friends.
It can't be let full time to students if she is living there during the summer !
The period when the students have tenancy rights can be zero rated for Council Tax. Purposes. Students who are leasing for say Ten months don't have to have yearly contracts, but some do. When Mrs Lund and family uses the property in the summer months, whether or not the tenancy is still active with the students she should advise CBC accordingly and pay the council tax owing for the period she is resident or until new students take up another lease.
[quote][p][bold]colcestrian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]colcestrian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]manmonkey[/bold] wrote: You don't pay council tax on an empty home[/p][/quote]Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed[/p][/quote]Think you will find most empty properties now (since April 2013) have to pay 100% council tax and not 150%, it used to be 50%. However, if the property is let entirely to full time students, as this flat is, then the tenants can apply for an exemption to having to pay any council tax which will be set to zero rated.[/p][/quote]Mrs Lund, who lives with her husband and three children in Saudi Arabia, rented it to wealthy students during the academic year and used it as a base when she returned to the UK every summer to spend time with family and friends. It can't be let full time to students if she is living there during the summer ![/p][/quote]The period when the students have tenancy rights can be zero rated for Council Tax. Purposes. Students who are leasing for say Ten months don't have to have yearly contracts, but some do. When Mrs Lund and family uses the property in the summer months, whether or not the tenancy is still active with the students she should advise CBC accordingly and pay the council tax owing for the period she is resident or until new students take up another lease. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 4

10:48am Wed 11 Jun 14

totallyfootball says...

A Very Private Gentleman wrote:
wearebeingwatched wrote:
Hamiltonandy wrote:
Shameful to see uncaring builders ignore planning regulations. A flat roof should have a minimum slope of 1/80 throughout and the slope should be visible by eye. The Gazette picture of the flat roof clearly showed a poor quality roofing sheet with the underlying concrete seams evident. It is easy if time consuming and expensive to remedy levels and put a properly bonded sheet with probably a forty year life.
.
Weston home inspectors must have seen the work before signing the building off. As the problem was caused by the builder I see no reason why the insurers Zurich should not recover the cost of repairs from Weston homes.
If it had a slope, it would not be a flat roof!
All flat roofs have slopes on them to allow for drainage, it depends on how you define a slope etc.
All is not what it seems or appears we are being watched.
Not wishing to get sucked into such a trivial matter, the roof has to be sloped but remains a flat roof because it has no apex being the other main type, flat or not a slope is compulsory for drainage, other wise gathering water will eventually seep through due to the erosion of materials from the elements of weather! Simples
[quote][p][bold]A Very Private Gentleman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]wearebeingwatched[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: Shameful to see uncaring builders ignore planning regulations. A flat roof should have a minimum slope of 1/80 throughout and the slope should be visible by eye. The Gazette picture of the flat roof clearly showed a poor quality roofing sheet with the underlying concrete seams evident. It is easy if time consuming and expensive to remedy levels and put a properly bonded sheet with probably a forty year life. . Weston home inspectors must have seen the work before signing the building off. As the problem was caused by the builder I see no reason why the insurers Zurich should not recover the cost of repairs from Weston homes.[/p][/quote]If it had a slope, it would not be a flat roof![/p][/quote]All flat roofs have slopes on them to allow for drainage, it depends on how you define a slope etc. All is not what it seems or appears we are being watched.[/p][/quote]Not wishing to get sucked into such a trivial matter, the roof has to be sloped but remains a flat roof because it has no apex being the other main type, flat or not a slope is compulsory for drainage, other wise gathering water will eventually seep through due to the erosion of materials from the elements of weather! Simples totallyfootball
  • Score: 2

11:56am Wed 11 Jun 14

romantic says...

colchester300yrs wrote:
A bit more history.
When the big red lightship was moved to it's current position in 1995 (it used to be further up the river before the bridge was built), I had a hand in moving it.
During the process we dropped 100 feet of anchor chain into the river (and thus into the mud), on pulling it out, this chain was clean steel. When it went in, it was rusted. The acid in that mud is incredible.
But then the council used to own a dredger and clear that river to 30ft draught at mean high water. You'll be lucky now if it's 3 feet at the banks.
One day it'll have to be dredged as it'll pose a flood risk. When it does, just wait for the complaints from the flat occupants, because it'll stink for days, It always used to.
Part of the land those flats are built on also used to be the Moler Brick Company.
In those days there were almost 10,000 jobs within a mile of the hythe, which there still should be.
As I understand it, the original plans for the Hythe included regular dredging of the river, and "the vision" was for something along the lines of Ipswich Marina. This has not happened because you can no longer just dredge the river, go a few miles out to sea and dump it; the material has to be properly disposed of, which costs a lot more. Was this realised at the planning stage, or as an afterthought? We don't know.

I believe the original plans were for a place where young professionals would sip lattes at riverside cafes before retiring to their luxury apartments, ready to commute to London from the relocated Hythe Station. There would be small boats along the river and people promenading in the evening summer sunshine.

If somebody has paid £200,000 for a flat down there, they might just have believed all that stuff.

There does seem to be a distinct lack of sympathy for them as they are buy-to-let, but the bigger principle still applies: if this block has been so badly constructed that it is leaking so soon, then the rest will also be dodgy. For Weston Homes to apply a 2-year rule is just wrong. I've got mates who are builders, and they basically say don't touch new-builds with a bargepole, because developers cut corners to boost their profits. This seems to be a classic example of that.
[quote][p][bold]colchester300yrs[/bold] wrote: A bit more history. When the big red lightship was moved to it's current position in 1995 (it used to be further up the river before the bridge was built), I had a hand in moving it. During the process we dropped 100 feet of anchor chain into the river (and thus into the mud), on pulling it out, this chain was clean steel. When it went in, it was rusted. The acid in that mud is incredible. But then the council used to own a dredger and clear that river to 30ft draught at mean high water. You'll be lucky now if it's 3 feet at the banks. One day it'll have to be dredged as it'll pose a flood risk. When it does, just wait for the complaints from the flat occupants, because it'll stink for days, It always used to. Part of the land those flats are built on also used to be the Moler Brick Company. In those days there were almost 10,000 jobs within a mile of the hythe, which there still should be.[/p][/quote]As I understand it, the original plans for the Hythe included regular dredging of the river, and "the vision" was for something along the lines of Ipswich Marina. This has not happened because you can no longer just dredge the river, go a few miles out to sea and dump it; the material has to be properly disposed of, which costs a lot more. Was this realised at the planning stage, or as an afterthought? We don't know. I believe the original plans were for a place where young professionals would sip lattes at riverside cafes before retiring to their luxury apartments, ready to commute to London from the relocated Hythe Station. There would be small boats along the river and people promenading in the evening summer sunshine. If somebody has paid £200,000 for a flat down there, they might just have believed all that stuff. There does seem to be a distinct lack of sympathy for them as they are buy-to-let, but the bigger principle still applies: if this block has been so badly constructed that it is leaking so soon, then the rest will also be dodgy. For Weston Homes to apply a 2-year rule is just wrong. I've got mates who are builders, and they basically say don't touch new-builds with a bargepole, because developers cut corners to boost their profits. This seems to be a classic example of that. romantic
  • Score: 11

12:33pm Wed 11 Jun 14

wormshero says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
colcestrian wrote:
manmonkey wrote:
You don't pay council tax on an empty home
Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed
Think you will find most empty properties now (since April 2013) have to pay 100% council tax and not 150%, it used to be 50%. However, if the property is let entirely to full time students, as this flat is, then the tenants can apply for an exemption to having to pay any council tax which will be set to zero rated.
To give a bit of clarity on those numbers, it's 100% council tax on unoccupied property for the first year, and then after a year it goes up to 150% (since March 2013 - I believe it used to be 0 or 50, that's irrelevant though, it's now 100% for 12 months then 150%). The council tax exemption for students (0%) only applies while they are actually living there and, if it's their final year, it ends in July whether they've officially moved out or not. If their tenancy is 10 months then council tax would have to be paid during the two months they don't, occupied or not.
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]colcestrian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]manmonkey[/bold] wrote: You don't pay council tax on an empty home[/p][/quote]Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed[/p][/quote]Think you will find most empty properties now (since April 2013) have to pay 100% council tax and not 150%, it used to be 50%. However, if the property is let entirely to full time students, as this flat is, then the tenants can apply for an exemption to having to pay any council tax which will be set to zero rated.[/p][/quote]To give a bit of clarity on those numbers, it's 100% council tax on unoccupied property for the first year, and then after a year it goes up to 150% (since March 2013 - I believe it used to be 0 or 50, that's irrelevant though, it's now 100% for 12 months then 150%). The council tax exemption for students (0%) only applies while they are actually living there and, if it's their final year, it ends in July whether they've officially moved out or not. If their tenancy is 10 months then council tax would have to be paid during the two months they don't, occupied or not. wormshero
  • Score: 0

12:35pm Wed 11 Jun 14

wormshero says...

Apologies, in Colchester it's actually 24 months: http://www.colcheste
r.gov.uk/article/839
4/Other
Apologies, in Colchester it's actually 24 months: http://www.colcheste r.gov.uk/article/839 4/Other wormshero
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Wed 11 Jun 14

catflap1 says...

colchester300yrs wrote:
The wealthy foreign students who come here for a 3 year course and then disappear of course, and contribute no more to the UK.

But then there are some of us who have worked for nigh on 40 years in VERY hard jobs (just you try spending 8 hours a day standing behind a milling machine covered in oil, or repairing buses, involving lying underneath one in the middle of high street in the snow), have studied (first class honours degree in engineering) and still cannot afford to live anywhere better than old heath as Colchester is being overrun by London commuters (mostly semi-skilled) and wealthy foreign property investors, none of whom value the area at all, except to speculate on the property market and increase their wealth to the detriment of those who actually want to stay there.
But then I cannot be one of these suit and tie merchants as I have spent years in heavy industry and look and sound like it, and don't fit in.
At the end of the day, all gentrification does is drive out those who've spent years living in the area.
At least I can get some gratification knowing that the part of the quay where these places are is where Coldock used to wash out the dock lighters years ago and god only knows whats in that mud.
get over your self shift happens
[quote][p][bold]colchester300yrs[/bold] wrote: The wealthy foreign students who come here for a 3 year course and then disappear of course, and contribute no more to the UK. But then there are some of us who have worked for nigh on 40 years in VERY hard jobs (just you try spending 8 hours a day standing behind a milling machine covered in oil, or repairing buses, involving lying underneath one in the middle of high street in the snow), have studied (first class honours degree in engineering) and still cannot afford to live anywhere better than old heath as Colchester is being overrun by London commuters (mostly semi-skilled) and wealthy foreign property investors, none of whom value the area at all, except to speculate on the property market and increase their wealth to the detriment of those who actually want to stay there. But then I cannot be one of these suit and tie merchants as I have spent years in heavy industry and look and sound like it, and don't fit in. At the end of the day, all gentrification does is drive out those who've spent years living in the area. At least I can get some gratification knowing that the part of the quay where these places are is where Coldock used to wash out the dock lighters years ago and god only knows whats in that mud.[/p][/quote]get over your self shift happens catflap1
  • Score: -7

2:40pm Wed 11 Jun 14

Captain SpaceAce says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
colcestrian wrote:
Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
colcestrian wrote:
manmonkey wrote:
You don't pay council tax on an empty home
Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed
Think you will find most empty properties now (since April 2013) have to pay 100% council tax and not 150%, it used to be 50%. However, if the property is let entirely to full time students, as this flat is, then the tenants can apply for an exemption to having to pay any council tax which will be set to zero rated.
Mrs Lund, who lives with her husband and three children in Saudi Arabia, rented it to wealthy students during the academic year and used it as a base when she returned to the UK every summer to spend time with family and friends.
It can't be let full time to students if she is living there during the summer !
The period when the students have tenancy rights can be zero rated for Council Tax. Purposes. Students who are leasing for say Ten months don't have to have yearly contracts, but some do. When Mrs Lund and family uses the property in the summer months, whether or not the tenancy is still active with the students she should advise CBC accordingly and pay the council tax owing for the period she is resident or until new students take up another lease.
Not wishing to be pedantic, but the period of time you are referring to (i.e. when the students are living there ) and the property is exempt, it’s not empty as it has students living in it! And, yes, you do pay council tax on empty properties (‘empty’ being defined as no-one residing there, including students) ;0)
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]colcestrian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]colcestrian[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]manmonkey[/bold] wrote: You don't pay council tax on an empty home[/p][/quote]Actually you pay 150% council tax on an empty house, it used to be you paid 50% but then the rules changed[/p][/quote]Think you will find most empty properties now (since April 2013) have to pay 100% council tax and not 150%, it used to be 50%. However, if the property is let entirely to full time students, as this flat is, then the tenants can apply for an exemption to having to pay any council tax which will be set to zero rated.[/p][/quote]Mrs Lund, who lives with her husband and three children in Saudi Arabia, rented it to wealthy students during the academic year and used it as a base when she returned to the UK every summer to spend time with family and friends. It can't be let full time to students if she is living there during the summer ![/p][/quote]The period when the students have tenancy rights can be zero rated for Council Tax. Purposes. Students who are leasing for say Ten months don't have to have yearly contracts, but some do. When Mrs Lund and family uses the property in the summer months, whether or not the tenancy is still active with the students she should advise CBC accordingly and pay the council tax owing for the period she is resident or until new students take up another lease.[/p][/quote]Not wishing to be pedantic, but the period of time you are referring to (i.e. when the students are living there ) and the property is exempt, it’s not empty as it has students living in it! And, yes, you do pay council tax on empty properties (‘empty’ being defined as no-one residing there, including students) ;0) Captain SpaceAce
  • Score: -2

6:47am Thu 12 Jun 14

pollly68 says...

Isn't it strange how a lot of people be grudge other people getting on in the world.the flat was purchased to live in at a later date,it is not a second home, plus Mrs Lund was born and lived in the area , until she became a nurse then went to help in a country where people find it hard to get health care if poor and every country has its poor, the story is the flats are not built to required standards, i have seen the appt its beautiful or was! and know it has had its faults from the beginning, so unless you know the real story keep your nasty comments to yourselves.
Isn't it strange how a lot of people be grudge other people getting on in the world.the flat was purchased to live in at a later date,it is not a second home, plus Mrs Lund was born and lived in the area , until she became a nurse then went to help in a country where people find it hard to get health care if poor and every country has its poor, the story is the flats are not built to required standards, i have seen the appt its beautiful or was! and know it has had its faults from the beginning, so unless you know the real story keep your nasty comments to yourselves. pollly68
  • Score: 6

1:06pm Thu 12 Jun 14

John5 Salary says...

colchester300yrs wrote:
The wealthy foreign students who come here for a 3 year course and then disappear of course, and contribute no more to the UK.

But then there are some of us who have worked for nigh on 40 years in VERY hard jobs (just you try spending 8 hours a day standing behind a milling machine covered in oil, or repairing buses, involving lying underneath one in the middle of high street in the snow), have studied (first class honours degree in engineering) and still cannot afford to live anywhere better than old heath as Colchester is being overrun by London commuters (mostly semi-skilled) and wealthy foreign property investors, none of whom value the area at all, except to speculate on the property market and increase their wealth to the detriment of those who actually want to stay there.
But then I cannot be one of these suit and tie merchants as I have spent years in heavy industry and look and sound like it, and don't fit in.
At the end of the day, all gentrification does is drive out those who've spent years living in the area.
At least I can get some gratification knowing that the part of the quay where these places are is where Coldock used to wash out the dock lighters years ago and god only knows whats in that mud.
r.e. Foreign Students
Most of the money a foreign visitor spends here is economically equivalent to an export from the UK, so in terms of the economy is good news...
[quote][p][bold]colchester300yrs[/bold] wrote: The wealthy foreign students who come here for a 3 year course and then disappear of course, and contribute no more to the UK. But then there are some of us who have worked for nigh on 40 years in VERY hard jobs (just you try spending 8 hours a day standing behind a milling machine covered in oil, or repairing buses, involving lying underneath one in the middle of high street in the snow), have studied (first class honours degree in engineering) and still cannot afford to live anywhere better than old heath as Colchester is being overrun by London commuters (mostly semi-skilled) and wealthy foreign property investors, none of whom value the area at all, except to speculate on the property market and increase their wealth to the detriment of those who actually want to stay there. But then I cannot be one of these suit and tie merchants as I have spent years in heavy industry and look and sound like it, and don't fit in. At the end of the day, all gentrification does is drive out those who've spent years living in the area. At least I can get some gratification knowing that the part of the quay where these places are is where Coldock used to wash out the dock lighters years ago and god only knows whats in that mud.[/p][/quote]r.e. Foreign Students Most of the money a foreign visitor spends here is economically equivalent to an export from the UK, so in terms of the economy is good news... John5 Salary
  • Score: -2

1:17pm Thu 12 Jun 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Saudi Arabia is one of the richest counties in the world but they are known to exploit immigrants, usually from the Indian sub continent, who are truly some of the poorest people in the world. They work as low paid labourers and as servants for the wealthy Saudi's. If Mrs Lund works for the benefit of the underclass people in Saudi Arabia then she deserves respect but it has to be said most professional Westerners who choose to work in Middle Eastern, Oil rich, countries like Saudi Arabia do so because salaries are high and taxes are low.
Saudi Arabia is one of the richest counties in the world but they are known to exploit immigrants, usually from the Indian sub continent, who are truly some of the poorest people in the world. They work as low paid labourers and as servants for the wealthy Saudi's. If Mrs Lund works for the benefit of the underclass people in Saudi Arabia then she deserves respect but it has to be said most professional Westerners who choose to work in Middle Eastern, Oil rich, countries like Saudi Arabia do so because salaries are high and taxes are low. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 5

12:57pm Fri 13 Jun 14

stevedawson says...

It will always be a s h I t hole.
It will always be a s h I t hole. stevedawson
  • Score: -4

4:24pm Fri 13 Jun 14

pollly68 says...

This is not about Mrs Lund its about the appts at the Hythe and if you read it properly she is not the only one having problems, it is also her home and she pays her taxes in the uk, so Moo girl' get you facts right and i may add she is far from scum as you descibe , which can be read as verbal abuse.or maybe your title fits perfectly. who knows.
This is not about Mrs Lund its about the appts at the Hythe and if you read it properly she is not the only one having problems, it is also her home and she pays her taxes in the uk, so Moo girl' get you facts right and i may add she is far from scum as you descibe , which can be read as verbal abuse.or maybe your title fits perfectly. who knows. pollly68
  • Score: 6

3:04pm Sat 14 Jun 14

mea001 says...

MooGirl wrote:
Second home scumbags. Deserve everything they get. And they should pay extra council tax. Mostly for taking a home away from someone that needs it. Plus the Hythe stinks and no one should be living there, it should have stayed a proud colchester industrial hub.
Your post makes you appear both uneducated and jealous.

Take a home away from somebody who needs it? There are loads of empty flats in this building if anybody 'needs one'. If somebody wants a flat here then they have a pick of many.

Instead many landlords have bought flats as investments, i know this because i know a few landlords who own flats here. They have bought them as an investment into their future or retirement and in the meantime rent them to students who have brought money into the country to invest in our high streets and restaurants, which EVERYBODY knows are struggling, and consequently add to our economy.

It is not these people that have negative effects on our country. It is people like YOU. You describe these people as 'scumbags' because you resent them. However most of these people are smart enough to know how to invest money safely for their futures and children, and work very very hard. They aren't doing any harm or as you say, taking homes from other people. They are investing money into the colchester area, the students are supporting our high streets. I recently lost my job in retail because of a store closure, you don't realise how much colchester is struggling in terms of high streets not taking money.

So these people that you describe as 'scum bags' are far from it. I have friends who rent property in this area and they are doing it for their children's futures.
[quote][p][bold]MooGirl[/bold] wrote: Second home scumbags. Deserve everything they get. And they should pay extra council tax. Mostly for taking a home away from someone that needs it. Plus the Hythe stinks and no one should be living there, it should have stayed a proud colchester industrial hub.[/p][/quote]Your post makes you appear both uneducated and jealous. Take a home away from somebody who needs it? There are loads of empty flats in this building if anybody 'needs one'. If somebody wants a flat here then they have a pick of many. Instead many landlords have bought flats as investments, i know this because i know a few landlords who own flats here. They have bought them as an investment into their future or retirement and in the meantime rent them to students who have brought money into the country to invest in our high streets and restaurants, which EVERYBODY knows are struggling, and consequently add to our economy. It is not these people that have negative effects on our country. It is people like YOU. You describe these people as 'scumbags' because you resent them. However most of these people are smart enough to know how to invest money safely for their futures and children, and work very very hard. They aren't doing any harm or as you say, taking homes from other people. They are investing money into the colchester area, the students are supporting our high streets. I recently lost my job in retail because of a store closure, you don't realise how much colchester is struggling in terms of high streets not taking money. So these people that you describe as 'scum bags' are far from it. I have friends who rent property in this area and they are doing it for their children's futures. mea001
  • Score: 5

3:08pm Sat 14 Jun 14

mea001 says...

pollly68 wrote:
Isn't it strange how a lot of people be grudge other people getting on in the world.the flat was purchased to live in at a later date,it is not a second home, plus Mrs Lund was born and lived in the area , until she became a nurse then went to help in a country where people find it hard to get health care if poor and every country has its poor, the story is the flats are not built to required standards, i have seen the appt its beautiful or was! and know it has had its faults from the beginning, so unless you know the real story keep your nasty comments to yourselves.
Exactly!

Unfortunately there are many people commenting on this article because they resent others for their hard work and success.
[quote][p][bold]pollly68[/bold] wrote: Isn't it strange how a lot of people be grudge other people getting on in the world.the flat was purchased to live in at a later date,it is not a second home, plus Mrs Lund was born and lived in the area , until she became a nurse then went to help in a country where people find it hard to get health care if poor and every country has its poor, the story is the flats are not built to required standards, i have seen the appt its beautiful or was! and know it has had its faults from the beginning, so unless you know the real story keep your nasty comments to yourselves.[/p][/quote]Exactly! Unfortunately there are many people commenting on this article because they resent others for their hard work and success. mea001
  • Score: 4

9:50pm Sat 14 Jun 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

stevedawson wrote:
It will always be a s h I t hole.
Article 101
parable 69
The word according to "Dawson".
[quote][p][bold]stevedawson[/bold] wrote: It will always be a s h I t hole.[/p][/quote]Article 101 parable 69 The word according to "Dawson". A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: 1

2:28am Sun 15 Jun 14

colchester300yrs says...

"Unfortunately there are many people commenting on this article because they resent others for their hard work and success."

Really? 40 years in heavy industry, covered in filth, working sometimes 15 hour days and getting bits of my anatomy cut off and disfigured. If that's not hard work - what the hell is?
Success - whats that then?
Seems to me that London types who can walk round all day talking and going to meetings can afford properties like the one above, yet are so incapable of anything that they have to phone the AA to change a wheel on their car get it all, but those of us who actually physically WORK for a living yet absolutely SQUAT and cannot even afford central heating.
Sour Grapes - you bet. I spent 5 years getting a first class engineering degree for absolutely NOTHING at all.
I don't resent people for hard work and success, but I do resent those who don't do hard work and ar5e crawl their way to earn more than they are worth.
"Unfortunately there are many people commenting on this article because they resent others for their hard work and success." Really? 40 years in heavy industry, covered in filth, working sometimes 15 hour days and getting bits of my anatomy cut off and disfigured. If that's not hard work - what the hell is? Success - whats that then? Seems to me that London types who can walk round all day talking and going to meetings can afford properties like the one above, yet are so incapable of anything that they have to phone the AA to change a wheel on their car get it all, but those of us who actually physically WORK for a living yet absolutely SQUAT and cannot even afford central heating. Sour Grapes - you bet. I spent 5 years getting a first class engineering degree for absolutely NOTHING at all. I don't resent people for hard work and success, but I do resent those who don't do hard work and ar5e crawl their way to earn more than they are worth. colchester300yrs
  • Score: -4

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