Finish our road before building more houses, say angry East Lancs residents

Susan Ensby and the raised manholes in May Tree Close

Susan Ensby and the raised manholes in May Tree Close

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

RESIDENTS who have been living on an ‘unfinished’ road for seven years are angry that Pendle Council has granted planning permission for another housing development next to their homes.

The 10 houses in May Tree Close, Briercliffe, were built in 2007, but the developer did not surface the road, leaving manhole covers raised up in the middle of the road.

Residents were also left without street lighting.

The land that the houses are on has since been sold to another agent who owns the adjacent land that has just been granted planning permission for 10 houses.

Darren Ensby, who lives in May Tree Close, said: “How can they start thinking about building more houses here when they haven’t even finished this?

“It’s really dark here, especially in winter and we’re always getting punctured tyres from the state of the road.

“We’re paying full council tax like everyone else but getting nothing. The new owner of the land told us that the council will take responsibility for it, but only when it meets a certain standard and he wanted us to pay to do it.

“Everyone just refused to pay because it doesn’t feel like our responsibility to fork out for it.”

Lancashire County Council said: “Unfortunately, the developer did not make an adoption agreement with the county council. This means we don’t have an official record of the road, how it was built, or how it will stand up to future use. As this is not a public road, we can’t use county council funding to bring it up to a standard where it can be adopted.

“However, if residents or the developers are prepared to pay for the investigations and any work needed to bring the road up to standard, we will be able to adopt it.

“We can’t consider the possible adoption of the second stretch of road until we have looked into whether the first can be adopted.“

"Although we can’t contribute public funds towards the investigation and improvements, we can advise residents on issues such as the collection of private funding. They should email or call our highways team and we will be happy to help.”

The issue was due to be discussed at last night’s Brierfield and Reedley Area Committee Meeting, where the owner was proposing to pay 50 per cent of the cost of bringing the road up to standard if residents paid an equal share.

Comments (6)

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5:05pm Wed 6 Aug 14

shirtbox says...

This problem is for the builders to sort out,unless the house owners were told when they bought the houses that it would be an un-adopted road.The solicitors involved in the purchases do not seem to have done their jobs correctly.
This problem is for the builders to sort out,unless the house owners were told when they bought the houses that it would be an un-adopted road.The solicitors involved in the purchases do not seem to have done their jobs correctly. shirtbox
  • Score: 18

6:46pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Wishingwell says...

Shirt box you are right there should be section 38 agreement and a financial bond in place to cover the outstanding work. something is sadly amiss with the solicitors and the planning dept. without a section 38 in place the planners should have shut this developer down. Lots of people not doing what they are paid for.
Shirt box you are right there should be section 38 agreement and a financial bond in place to cover the outstanding work. something is sadly amiss with the solicitors and the planning dept. without a section 38 in place the planners should have shut this developer down. Lots of people not doing what they are paid for. Wishingwell
  • Score: 15

8:36pm Wed 6 Aug 14

bow1974 says...

I wonder if you need to pay council tax if you live on an un-adopted road i know i wouldn't be.
I wonder if you need to pay council tax if you live on an un-adopted road i know i wouldn't be. bow1974
  • Score: 10

9:26pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Excluded again says...

How much council tax do you think you would be paying if developers could offload the costs of every new road onto council tax payers? The residents need to get hold of the original plans and agreements to see how these can be enforced.
How much council tax do you think you would be paying if developers could offload the costs of every new road onto council tax payers? The residents need to get hold of the original plans and agreements to see how these can be enforced. Excluded again
  • Score: 4

7:15am Thu 7 Aug 14

JayEss says...

bow1974 wrote:
I wonder if you need to pay council tax if you live on an un-adopted road i know i wouldn't be.
Council tax covers all manner of services and not just the road in front of your house. Of course you'd pay it.
[quote][p][bold]bow1974[/bold] wrote: I wonder if you need to pay council tax if you live on an un-adopted road i know i wouldn't be.[/p][/quote]Council tax covers all manner of services and not just the road in front of your house. Of course you'd pay it. JayEss
  • Score: 0

7:53am Thu 7 Aug 14

TONY WALES says...

A similar problem happened to me when I sold my previous home.
The new buyers refused to sign the documents to buy my property because it had not been adopted.
However I was lucky because the builders had lodged the full money with an insurance company and then it was paid and the council went ahead and adopted the road Then the sale was no problem.

You need to check with the solicitors to see if the information regarding the road not being adopted was given to you before you purchased.

If you were not informed register a complaint with the Law Society,
and try to get some of the money from your solicitors.
After all they charge enough for their work mostly far in excess of the amount of work involved.
A similar problem happened to me when I sold my previous home. The new buyers refused to sign the documents to buy my property because it had not been adopted. However I was lucky because the builders had lodged the full money with an insurance company and then it was paid and the council went ahead and adopted the road Then the sale was no problem. You need to check with the solicitors to see if the information regarding the road not being adopted was given to you before you purchased. If you were not informed register a complaint with the Law Society, and try to get some of the money from your solicitors. After all they charge enough for their work mostly far in excess of the amount of work involved. TONY WALES
  • Score: 4

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