Residents of pothole-ridden ‘bomb site’ angry it’s unfinished four years after moving in but developer says it is ‘working to get road completed as soon as possible’
PUBLISHED: 11:39 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:58 03 July 2020
Residents of a pothole-ridden “bomb site” in Wisbech are angry that it has been left unfinished more than four years after they moved in - but the developer says it’s down to a delay in getting the county council to adopt the road.
Poor drain coverage, loose bricks on curbs, stones covering pavements and a lack of street lighting are among the complaints levelled at developer Kempston Homes - who took on Mikanda Close after it had been partially built by another developer.
Resident, Daniel Symons, who moved into the street in January 2016, said: “The road is a complete mess and a dangerous eyesore.
“It’s just getting worse, the mounds would take the bottom of a car out. It’s been left to rack and ruin.”
Having struggled to sell his house, Mr Symons added that “when anyone comes to view the house, they ask if the road is being done”.
Mr Symons added that he has emailed Kempston Homes and Cambridgeshire County Council, who say they have “no legal influence over how the developer maintains the private estate roads because instead of pursuing a Section 38, Kempston Homes have chosen to offer the development roads for adoption via Section 37”.
Julie Peggs, of Kempston Homes, however says they are “working to get the road completed as soon as possible - but are unable to give a date.
“We have been working with CCC and Highways England for several years on this project, buying the site after it had been partially built by another developer.
“Although it has taken a long time we are getting very close to finalising details to enable us to enter into an agreement for the road to be completed and adopted by council.
“We, as a company, are working very closely with all authorities to get the road completed as soon as possible. However, at this time I am unable to give a date.
“We do understand the frustration of the residents but I wish to reassure them we are working behind the scenes to get the road issue resolved as quickly as possible.”
Philip Abrosimor, who has MS and has lived in Makinda Close since 2015, fears that he will not be able to get in or out of his house if he ends up wheelchair-bound because of his condition.
He said: “It’s horrible. We were told it would last for one year maximum, but five years later nothing has changed. This is how it has looked since the beginning.”
The 36-year-old, who fears that he will end up wheelchair-bound due to having MS, is also concerned that he will not be able to get in or out of his house because of the state of the road.
The printing factory worker says “I am worried to let my eight-year-old son outside because he might damage his legs”.
He added that “you can’t see anything at night because there’s just one weak light for the whole street” and, due to the state of the roads, “we won’t be able to sell our house in the future - which I am deeply disappointed about”.
He added that Kempston Homes’ solicitors retain a £3,000 payment from each household which, they were told when they first moved in, was to “secure the finishing of the road and for the future”.
A third resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said in the 13 years he has lived there, “the potholes have never been done properly - just very patchily”.
He alleges that “every time they put new houses in, they never finish the roads off; it’s always been the same. I’ve dented the wheel on my car more than once and often have to fill the holes with gravel.”
Fenland District Councillor Susan Wallwork, portfolio holder for communities and cllr for the Octavia Hill ward, has been pressing for action on behalf of residents.
She said: “I’m assured that the end of July will see the situation resolved and the roads being officially adopted by the council.
“Let’s see what the next two weeks bring. I will continue to chase if August 1 rolls by with no action being taken.”
Alex Woolnough, highways development management engineer at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Instead of pursuing the Section 38 route, Kempston Builders have chosen to offer the development roads for adoption via Section 37.
“Without a Section 38 Agreement in place, CCC has no legal influence over how the developer maintains the private estate roads.
Work started on the site south east of New Drove in 1993 but was left unfinished when the original developer entered administration the following year.
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