FLATS in Purfleet, whose construction was recently branded “inadequate”, were passed as fit for purpose by the country’s leading standards setter for new homes.

The homes on the Watts Wood Park estate, in Bridgland Road, were signed off after a series of inspections by the National House- Building Council (NHBC).

Last week, the Gazette revealed how an independent report, by Base Building Consultancy, had criticised the workmanship on the flats, which were built by Bellway Homes.

The report, on behalf of property management group OM, said tiles had not been fixed to the roof adequately, some roof materials should only have been used as a short term repair and a number of practices used during construction were inadequate.

Bellway told the Gazette it was reviewing the report findings and was taking the matter seriously.

The report came about after a number of families were made homeless before Christmas due to damage to their homes.

Residents reported holes in their roofs and water coming into their properties to OM in October.

Nothing was done until December when high winds caused further damage, leaving up to eight families homeless.

They are not expected to be back in their homes until May.

Resident Kenny Reid, 34, said the situation was now ridiculous. He said: “I’ve got a copy of the NHBC’s report from 2009 signing off the buildings.

"If it was signed off then, how can it be any different now? There are people who are homeless. The whole situation is ridiculous. Why are people still being left in the lurch?”

An NHBC spokesman said: “NHBC carries out inspections at key stages of construction. These are risk-based inspections, which allow us to offer our 10-year Buildmark cover for completed homes.

“Although inspections help to reduce the likelihood of defects occurring in homes, our inspectors are present at key stages of the construction and not continually on site.

“This means that not all aspects of the work will be seen and we can never guarantee that a property will be free from defects.”