Flats worth millions of pounds in Croydon have been sitting empty since they were completed more than a year ago.

Neighbours of a Brick by Brick development in Heathfield Gardens are puzzled as new residents have yet to move next door.

When the Local Democracy Reporting Service visited the site, the flats all appeared empty, with piles of rubbish gathering at some of the front doors of the ground floor properties.

Your Local Guardian: The empty Brick by Brick flats in Heathfield Gardens (photo: Tara O'Connor)The empty Brick by Brick flats in Heathfield Gardens (photo: Tara O'Connor)

The council-owned developer was set up in 2016 but is in the process of being closed down. 

The authority ploughed £200 million into the company in a bid to build homes in the borough.

But auditors said loans to the company contributed to the council having to declare bankruptcy in 2020.

All of the new homes in Heathfield Gardens are being offered as shared ownership.

The Brick by Brick website lists six flats are being reserved and another two as available, with a 25 per cent share on sale for £110,000.

The two blocks were built on an existing estate owned by Croydon Council on the site of a grassy area with trees and a garage block. 

Brick by Brick proudly announced the completion of the flats in January 2021 as one of its seven “small sites” developments.

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Stephen Pollard, who has lived there for 34 years, was against the flats when they were first put forward.

He said he was “upset” the blocks were still empty.

The 77-year-old said: “There was a general agreement that if they were going to be social housing it wouldn’t be so bad but the idea was to sell them to make money for other social housing developments.”

Stephen said a couple of months ago builders returned to one of the blocks to deal with “snagging” faults with the building.

He said he was told by an agent for the flats that some had been sold but were being held up by ‘legal processes’.

John Murphy, 58, who lives over the road from the new development, described it as an “eyesore”.

He said: “The worst thing about it was it used to be a really nice green space for the people in the flats, there were trees that all got slaughtered, it is the biggest eye sore.

“I haven’t seen an estate agent there for yonks.

"The flats are very expensive and if you look inside you can barely swing a cat in there.”

Another man on the estate, who asked not to be named, called the development a “waste of money”.

The 50-year-old added: “I don’t think they can sell them, they are too expensive. People aren’t happy about it all to be honest.”

Signs on the outside of the building show security firm Emblem has been hired to keep an eye on the properties.

Locals say they haven’t spotted security at the development and believe they may come round and check the buildings now and then.

Emblem would not provide any more information.

Croydon Council and Brick by Brick were contacted for comment.