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Jordan Springs East: Lendlease will assist homeowners
Lendlease has come clean on the full scale of a sinking homes crisis affecting scores of residents at a housing development in Sydney’s west.
Joel Erickson, EXCLUSIVE, Penrith PressSubscriber only|January 18, 2020 7:00am
The number of homes affected by ground settlement issues including sinking and cracking in a new housing estate has jumped to almost 40.
Developer Lendlease has revealed 38 houses near Armoury Rd have been affected by ground settlement issues in a parcel of land at Jordan Springs East. So far, three homes have been demolished or building halted while in the process of being completed.
Residents have reported at least one of the homes having a visible lean before it was knocked down.
The ground settlement – vertical movement of the ground – also caused a sinkhole in Armoury Rd which had to be blocked off for months to repair.
James Diamond and his young family moved into a house on Armoury Rd in December.
“We’ve got little cracks in our home already, which we wouldn’t have expected this quickly,” Mr Diamond said.
“I still remember when someone mentioned the road sinking, so I came out and had a look.
“I noticed the single-storey house they demolished last month was on an angle – you could visibly see it listing.
“There was a bad sinkhole in the road as well. It felt like driving off a cliff – you almost lost your stomach.”
Navy Rd resident Sandeep Kumar, who lives nearby on Navy Rd, said the land in his frontyard had sunk more than a foot since he first moved into his home about 12 months ago.
He said Lendlease had checked for cracks inside his house, which they did not find, but didn’t address the sinking land under his driveway.
“I had to use two tonnes of soil just to fill the sinkage, and it’s not just me,” he said.
“The two houses up from me have similar problems.”
Lendlease’s senior development manager, Kevin Montier, said the company first became aware of ground settlement issues in April, 2018.
“There are 38 homes that have some evidence of issue,” he said. “It was evident that there were properties immediately adjacent to ground settlement at Armoury Rd.
“There were six properties there that we knew to be affected, including the one that was demolished recently and one that was immediately opposite it that was under construction.
“The builder chose to demolish that property while it was under construction, and there was another property adjacent that was also stopped by the builders.”
Mr Montier said the issues were exacerbated when a temporary detention basin rose due to a blockage at the end of 2018.
“Following the heavy rain events at the end of 2018 and early 2019, it brought to our attention there was some further movement due to the fact the basin was allowed to elevate in level,” he said.
“That’s been fixed, and we’re sure it’s not an ongoing issue and won’t repeat, but essentially that meant we took a proactive approach into looking at whether there were more properties affected.”
Works to fix Armoury Rd are now complete, and the road was reopened on January 17.
Mr Montier said Lendlease would offer a 15-year commitment to any homeowners affected by ground settlement including covering the cost of all repairs.
“It’s understandable that people are concerned,” he said.
“The key for us is the customer-first approach. We’re very mindful of how sensitive and personal this is, so we want to make sure we’re there standing by the customer.
“We need to be ensuring we’re covering all their costs as affected by ground settlement, and also making sure their safety is foremost.
“We want to make sure people are comfortable and that Jordan Springs East remains a great place to live.”