A YORKSHIRE housebuilder has said that images appearing to show cracked brickwork on a new housing estate in Pickering are “dated” and that the damaged bricks have been replaced.

The pictures, circulating on social media, were sent to the Gazette & Herald, including this on right, by a concerned resident. They were taken at the Manor Vale site of new housing off Firthland Road in the town, and show cracks running down the walls of the red-brick structures; in some cases the cracks were several feet long.

But a spokesman for Persimmon Homes, which is constructing the estate, said that it was a “not entirely unusual occurrence” and that the cracks are down to changes in temperature and not anything more serious like structure subsidence.

“Facing bricks can be subject to minor thermal movements which are normal, and thermal cracking caused by associated movements is not an entirely unusual occurrence,” they said.

“Houses are designed to accommodate such movement or shrinkage, nevertheless a brickwork panel can occasionally shrink too fast due to various uncontrolled factors i.e. weather conditions during construction works, exposure to direct sunlight causing a rapid increase of temperature etc.

“The bricks used in this case are of a fully certified and tested material which are fit for purpose and approved for use by the new homes’ warranty provider.

“The images on social media are dated and show properties prior to completion.

“The cracks are related to shrinkage of the brickwork generated by a rapid drying process of the masonry panel, and not subsidence of the structure or a failure of the materials.

“All cracked bricks were replaced and additionally reinforced if and where it was deemed necessary and this does not affect the integrity of the structure.

“Should any thermal cracking occur post-completion then we would undertake any necessary remedial works in accordance with our new homes warranty.”

The new homes at Manor Vale were granted permission in September 2017. An application was made for a further 161 homes to the south of the site but this was rejected by Ryedale District Council in September 2018.