A TV star and developer has come under fire from a city councillor as community facilities promised as part of a development are yet to be completed.

That comes as investors in the Happiness Architecture Beauty (HAB) housing venture, launched by Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud, voiced frustration at warnings they could lose up to 97% of their cash.

The Chronicle first reported on the broken promises at the Lovedon Fields development in Kings Worthy six months ago, and ward councillor Jackie Porter, who is also cabinet member for built environment and wellbeing at Winchester City Council, said works are still yet to be completed.

Hampshire Chronicle:

Cllr Porter said: “Work goes on very, very slowly, it’s nowhere near finished.

“We want to see this site completed. We chose it because it had great public facilities. The residents of Kings Worthy are being let down.

“[Mr McCloud] had good intentions but it was naive. This project was much more complicated than it was meant to be.”

As previously reported, the developer HAB Housing agreed – as part of the planning approval – Eversley Park would double in size, with a new allotment, cycle rack, play area, orchard and car park. The land would then be given to Kings Worthy Parish Council to protect it from future development.

Hampshire Chronicle:

The site, off Lovedon Lane in Kings Worthy, was given planning approval in September 2015, and the development was opened in Spring 2017 by then-mayor Cllr Jane Rutter and Mr McCloud.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “We are really happy with the house and the area. We like the idea of the estate, we kind of bought into Kevin McCloud.

“I’ve got no interest in seeing him here. He hasn’t been here, he’s been reluctant to come here and listen to our concerns, he was very happy to take our money.

“The communication has been really poor.”

Hampshire Chronicle:

In response, a spokesman for HAB Housing said: “With regard to our Lovedon Fields development, understandably, we have been prioritising works on the houses of our homebuyers which we have been diligently undertaking.

“Our intended plan has been to commence work on the community assets in Autumn which continues to be the case.

“Throughout this process, we have been in continual dialogue with our homebuyers, the parish and city councils, and other stakeholders with frequent updates on progress and planned activities.”

Speaking after the Chronicle first broke the news in February, Mr McCloud’s firm has issued a statement, saying a “Brexit-fuelled construction crisis” had hit the industry, causing soaring construction costs and a shortage of skilled workers.

Mr McCloud also issued a personal apology to the residents. He said: “As an SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) housebuilder, we’ve been hit hard by rocketing costs and a construction skills crisis – both of which are being exacerbated by Brexit uncertainty and the fall in the pound.

“Of course Brexit is absolutely no excuse for the poor service residents have received and I am close to striking a deal to bring new partners whose expertise and financial backing will enable HAB to deliver something we can be proud of.

“I am hopeful of being able to make that announcement very shortly.”

Mr McCloud added: “I’m personally very sorry for the delays and problems caused.

“Things haven’t been done quickly enough. I share our residents’ frustrations and am putting a plan in place to fix them.”

Last month, it was reported nationally that buyers of the bonds sold to investors in 2017 for HAB – launched by Mr McCloud in 2007 – were told in a letter that an independent review of finances found they face significant losses.

Mr McCloud resigned as a director of HAB Land Ltd on February 16 2018.

The letter to investors says bondholders can expect a return of between “26 pence and 3 pence for every £1 of bond monies invested”, after the completion of two projects.