Reviewed: 9th August 2016
A team of construction workers are effectively squatting at their former workplace after being left unpaid following their employer’s recent entry into administration.
The site is in Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire near Milton Keynes and there are reportedly a total of nine disgruntled builders currently living where they had been working on redeveloping a former RAF station.
Their employer was Vantage Design and Build but the business collapsed into administration in mid-July and the men have been left unpaid for several months’ worth of work on the Leighton Buzzard site.
“Since that happened, no-one is speaking to us. We’ve asked over and over when we’re getting paid and we’ve heard nothing,” Peter Taylor, one of the unpaid workers, told the Leighton Buzzard Observer.
With the nine men having been recruited from Portsmouth and apparently having been told they would be employed for an extended period, some have been left effectively homeless and living in temporary accommodation at the construction site they were working on.
“We were promised a couple of years’ work here as ground workers and came up from Portsmouth,” Taylor said.
“Some of the guys gave up their homes to come here and they’ve been left homeless because of how Vantage have treated us.”
With Vantage Design and Build having entered administration, the site in question has been transferred to the ownership of the Catalyst Housing Association (CHA).
CHA has recently stepped up efforts to remove the unhappy and unpaid workers from the site and has beefed up security with that aim in mind.
“Since taking possession of the site we have employed a security company to keep it safe and ensure it remains in a condition ready for the resumption of building,” statements from a CHA spokesperson said.
“As part of this process we have discovered that some contractors were staying on the site overnight without our permission, and in response we have installed new locks to prevent this happening.
“These security measures are an important part of fulfilling our legal responsibilities as the owner of the site.”
A total of 60 jobs were lost when Vantage Design and Build entered administration last month.
Prior to its collapse, the company was involved in a dispute with one of its main contractors in Inland Homes, which Vantage claimed owed it around £4.2 million.
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