Calls for roads and pavements to be completed on Wisbech estate amid health and safety fears
Residents are demanding action on roads and pavements on a Wisbech housing estate that have been left unfinished for over half-a-decade.
Nearly half of those living on the Cromwell Gardens development off Cromwell Road have joined a newly-formed residents’ group to try to pressurise developer Reason Homes into action.
The residents claim the unfinished pathways and roads are a health and safety issue and two areas of land that are overgrown with weeds are attracting rats.
Kevin Reed and his partner Margaret Stewart, who live in Ellerby Drive, opposite an area of land designated for more housing, claim Reason Homes are hiding behind a planning loophole over the unfinished estate.
She said: “Reason Homes say they don’t have to complete the roads and pathways to bring them up to adoption standard because the estate is not finished, but some of the homes on here have had people living in them for over seven years.
“The piece of land opposite us was originally going to have flats on it, but because it is so close to the river they would have to have put in deep iron piles and it was too expensive.
“Reason Homes changed the plans to build eight bungalows instead and got planning permission to do that, but that permission has now lapsed and as far as we know there are no new plans being submitted.
“Until those bungalows are built and the play area is put in the estate is not finished and so Reason Homes don’t have to complete the roads and paths.”
Kevin said another issue is lorries cutting across the Cromwell Road trying to get to South Brink, only find it is a dead end. They then have to turn around in the development’s small roadways.
He said: “We have asked for warning signs but have been told because the roads haven’t been adopted the council can’t put signs up. The lorries turning have to mount the pavements adding to the problems of the uneven paths.
“People in mobility scooters or with prams have to walk in the road because the footpaths are so uneven and the kerbs so high they can’t get up and down safely.
“We believe there should be a time limit in which developers must complete roads and pathways – otherwise it can go on forever and it is not fair on people living on estates like ours.”
Lynne Hayden, who is also a member of the group, said: “We have tried individually over the years to communicate with Reason Homes about all the issues faced, to no avail. Enough is enough though and we have joined together, forming the group to unite and challenge Reason Homes. They need to get our home environment to the completed site it should be at after all these years.
“A number of residents purchased homes on this development from plan, seven years ago. Surely it is not unreasonable for them to expect the frontage of their homes to resemble the picture they were ‘sold’ in the brochures.”
A spokesman for Reason Homes said: “I am aware of two meetings to discuss work on the footpaths.There is going to be a meeting between us and the county inspector and another meeting with contractors.”
However, she could not confirm the date of the meetings.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said they have no power to force work to be carried out on privately owned land. She could not confirm meetings were planned.