Number 15, Lake Side, Littleborough, is arguably the ‘dream home’ – but it has never been lived in.
The peculiar bungalow, which is situated on the western shore of Hollingworth Lake, Rochdale, was built in 1998 by pensioners Dr. Stephen Watkins and his wife Elizabeth, who wanted somewhere to relax after stressful working lives.
The couple never disclosed how much they spent on the building, but it included a bespoke library, so it can be assumed to be quite a substantial sum of money.
However, the house was never completed, and the dismal reason why has since been cited at Westminster as an example of what can go wrong for people who build their own homes.
To put it simply, the Watkins were unsatisfied with the quality of their home – a structural engineer would find weaknesses in the roof – and so left the house in its unfinished state as ‘evidence’.
The Watkins went on to spend two decades in vicious legal disputes – first with the firm that built the property, and then a lengthy battle with the National House Building Council (NHBC), with whom they had taken out a ‘Buildmark’ warranty and insurance policy.
The claim began in 2001, after three years of disagreements with the builders, and took over fifteen years to settle.
Finally, the claim, involving surveyors and the financial ombudsman, was settled and the sum paid out by the NHBC was enough to finish the property.
However, this wasn’t the end of the Watkins’ woes.
In December 2018, the couple found out that Rochdale council wanted to CPO (compulsory purchase order) the bungalow, which they say ‘detracts from its surroundings and spoils the outlook.’
And now, two years later, the CPO has been successful.
A planning application has been submitted to knock down the bungalow to build two new four to five bedroom detached houses on the site.
A planning statement read: “In 2019, the owners submitted a Pre-App to Rochdale Council – this pre-app was for the demolition of the existing bungalow and the construction of five town houses and one sheltered earth dwelling.
“The pre-app response stated that the proposals were not in keeping with the existing character of the area and represented an over-development of the site.”
Greggs worker fired after exposing the ‘mountains of food that gets wasted every day’
The worker filmed several bin bags of food being thrown away at the end of her shift
A Greggs worker was fired after she exposed the ‘mountain’ of food the bakery chain allegedly wastes on a daily basis.
Nicole Iwalowo had been working in a Romford branch in London for a month when she became aware of the massive amount of food going to waste at the end of each day.
Feeling guilty at seeing food go in the bin every day, Nicole decided to expose the bakery by filming the leftover produce, which included freshly made sandwiches and sealed packages of bakery goods like doughnuts and yum yums, and posting it onto TikTok.
Her video, shared back in November, shows six bin bags full of food being loaded up on a metal cage, which Nicole claims was later collected by bin men.
Nicole pointed out in the video that ‘there’s people starving around the world and all of this is going to waste’, noting that ‘this happens everyday around the world with the billions of food stores’.
Her TikTok post was quick to garner thousands of views and comments, with many slamming Greggs for the blatant hypocrisy surrounding its official policy, which states that it ‘hates food waste’ and that ‘donating unsold food to those in need is our priority’.
Greggs also claims that ‘all unsold food is 100% diverted from landfill’.
One viewer commented: “What’s frustrating is there are actual Apps around now exactly for this, to take end of day food for ppl [sic] in need. Its infuriating and why we should boycott these businesses until they change. Thank you for putting your job on the line to show this.”
Another person who claims to have also worked for the bakery chain wrote: “I used to work at Greggs too and can back this up. and we aren’t allowed to give it to the homeless either.”
A spokesperson for Greggs has since addressed the video, saying in a statement: “We have a number of initiatives in place to help reduce food waste across our shops including the redistribution of unsold food to community groups and charities.
“We are continually working to increase the amount of unsold food given away to those most in need and remain committed to putting an end to food waste.”
In the days following the posting of the video, Nicole confirmed that she had been fired and was left looking for work in the run up to Christmas.
Safety alert issued over car seats as parents told to stop using them ‘immediately’
Batches of carseats reportedly have a buckle defect
A safety alert has been issued over a batch of children’s car seats containing ‘potentially defective’ parts.
Cosatto, a Bolton-born retailer specialising in pushchairs, highchairs and car seats for children, has issued the safety alert for the buckles on its ‘All in All+’ and ‘All in All Rotate’ car seats, of which there are eleven different models.
The notice from Cosatto reads: “We have identified a potential safety concern relating to the buckle used in the production of a small batch of car seats manufactured between September 2019 and June 2020.
“Unfortunately, the manufacture of some of the buckles did not reach the exacting standards set by our quality and safety protocol and contain components that can potentially become defective.
“We are truly sorry that this has happened. We are a values-driven, family business who want to do the right thing and have taken this action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children of valued customers like you.”
It has also been revealed that any customer with one of the multi-group car seats (Groups 0+/1/2/3) for children from birth up to 36kg (approximately twelve years old) should stop using them immediately and contact Cosatto.
The company added that only those with batch numbers between 37/2019 and 24/2020 are affected, noting that all other car seats from later batches are safe to use.
Parents have been encouraged to immediately check the batch numbers on their car seats – all of which can be found on a sticker on the right-hand side at the rear.
If their seat is one of the affected, Cosatto is offering a free replacement buckle, which will be dispatched on a next day delivery service.
Here’s the Which? full list of faulty models:
All in All+ car seats
- Dragon Kingdom (model number CT4262)
- Unicorn Land (model number CT4238)
- Harewood (model number CT4239)
- Mister Fox (model number CT4241)
All in All Rotate car seats
- Sea Monsters (model number CT4263)
- Fairy Garden (model number CT4242)
- Fika Forest (model number CT4243)
- Hedgerow (model number CT4486)
- Hear Us Roar (model number CT4418)
- On The Prowl (model number CT4451)
- One World (model number CT4449)
You can fill out Cosatto’s online form here to check your model and order a replacement buckle, or alternatively call 08000 149252.
Snorers can get paid £300 to test ‘anti-snore’ sleep products
We all know someone who’d be perfect for this…
If you’re a serial snorer, this could be your big moment.
For years, we’ve been batting away so-called ‘cures’ for snoring, and have simply been making do with a pair of good quality ear plugs instead.
But with 35% of the adult population being serial snorers, you’d think there would have been a solid solution by now.
Well, the answer may just be on the horizon.
UK sleep brand Silentnight is on the hunt for five serious snorers to test their new range of sleep products with a handsome cash reward of £300.
The successful applicants will be given £700 worth of sleep products, all of which claim to prevent snoring in some way or another.
This generous bundle will include a king-size rolled mattress from the award-winning Studio by Silentnight collection, a pair of innovative Anti-Snore pillows designed to encourage improved breathing, and a ‘So Snug’ 13.5 tog winter duvet.
Kat Collins, senior brand manager for Silentnight, said: “As the UK’s most trusted sleep brand, we think it’s important to celebrate all types of sleepers and so are giving back to snorers across the country with an exciting new role this year.
“But, this is official business and we’re looking for applicants who take their sleep seriously. As part of our mission to change how people sleep for the better, we know that customers’ feedback on our products is fundamental to our future launches so can’t wait to hear our new ‘employees’ thoughts.”
If your application is successful, Silentnight will contact you via email, as well as remove and recycle your old mattress, if needed, for free.