A CONTROVERSIAL new housing development in Berkeley has been halted because of a serious error.

Hawkfield Homes have been building on the site by the Marybrook Medical Centre in Berkeley since last year, but for the past month, according to residents and now the district council, all building work has come to a halt because the houses are too high.

The development was to consist of 12 luxury three and four-bedroom town houses, which were meant to be available from the summer of this year. Yet there has been no sign of the developers on the site since the news broke.

It all means that, with the controversy over the height of the Berkeley homes, a question mark has been thrown on the entire situation, with the unexpected halt to the Marybrook development coming as a shock to residents.

Claire McMath, who lives immediately next to the development entrance, said: “We need new housing, but now this looks like an eyesore – it’s just a building site.

“There’s been no correspondence about it, no work being done and no information about what’s going to happen next.”

The building site sits immediately next to Marybrook Medical Centre, and staff there are concerned about the impact of the building work halt.

Stroud District Council approved the original plans for the site, and its spokesman said: “We are aware of the height being erroneous and are considering the situation.”

It all comes at what is a turbulent time for the house building industry.

The National House Building Council (NHBC) says the reported problems with new-builds are isolated incidents, yet only as recently as 2017 the NHBC, supposedly there to protect home-owners, was questioned over its neutrality after it was revealed that the organisation pays out millions to house developers every year.

The danger now is that the Marybrook homes may have to be demolished – a solution other councils around the country employ when developments are found to be built higher than agreed - leaving the community with more uncertainty.

Ms McMath said: “It’s frustrating – it’s all having a real impact now. How long will it be sitting derelict like this for?”

The medical centre and developer were both unavailable for comment.