Homeowners are calling for long overdue action to address a catalogue of issues on their new-build housing estate after they say developers left roads, paths and communal spaces in a state of “disrepair”.
Residents at Ribble Meadows in Clitheroe say developers Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Homes, who share responsibility for the estate, left communal areas in an unusable state.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s enforcement officers are investigating after two ward councillors brought the matter to their attention.
Ribble Meadows resident Kevin Woods, who lives in a Barratt home, says he has been passed from pillar to post.
He and his partner moved in to their house on Ribble Prospect in July 2017 and, since this date, the developers have laid a network of paths which run alongside and down to Edisford and the River Ribble. However, the gravel in some sections has already eroded and a very steep pathway down to Edisford was left in a dangerous condition.
“The pathway down to the river has been virtually washed away and is in a dangerous state. A child could be seriously injured,” said Kevin.
A spokesman for Barratt Homes said it had completed all roads for which it was responsible and urged anyone with concerns to contact the company directly.
Since the Clitheroe Advertiser contacted Taylor Wimpey, the steep pathway leading to Edisford has been taped off and warning signs erected.
Kevin’s concerns have been echoed by Ribble Valley Borough Council’s two ward councillors for Edisford and Low Moor.
Coun. Maureen Fenton, said: “I have taken up complaints from both Ribble Meadows residents and other local people who regularly walk by the river about the footpaths in the ‘country park’ area and know that Ribble Valley council officers are working to get action from Taylor Wimpey.
“Making these paths usable and safe gets even more urgent as we get more people – particularly children – out and about in the better weather.”
Coun. Sue Hind has also been speaking to the borough council’s planning department about residents’ concerns and the council’s enforcement officers are investigating the fact Taylor Wimpey could be in breach of a landscape condition attached to the original planning approval.
Coun. Hind visited the site with her husband Coun. Ken Hind, who is the borough council’s leader, after being contacted by a local resident, and both of them were disgusted at what they found.
“The incline on this particular bit of pathway leading down to Edisford is particularly steep – the incline is all wrong,” said Coun. Hind. “The person who designed it needs their head read from a safety point of view.”
She added: “My first thought was of one of my grandchildren hurtling down there on their bike! They would end up in the River Ribble!
“It is absolutely reprehensible the state they have left the development in. They have not done what they said they would and it’s just awful.”
Kevin added that the estate’s roads had been left pothole ridden for long periods of time, had not been levelled off right and looked like “patch work quilts”. He is also unhappy with the landscaping outside his house.
He has even invited the CEO of Barratt Homes Mike Roberts to come and visit the site and see first hand what the residents have had to deal with.
A spokesman for Taylor Wimpey said: “As a responsible home builder committed to the safety and wellbeing of our customers, we take all feedback very seriously.
“In response to the concerns raised at Ribble Meadows, we can confirm that the open space walk way has been closed until the necessary remedial works are completed.
“All footways located on sloping areas will be Tarmac and footways on level areas will be gravel stabilised matting.
“In addition to the surface treatment, we will be installing extensive land drainage along the affected lengths of footway.
“In a few locations it appears the footway is lower than the surrounding landscape, therefore we will also be lifting the footway in these areas.
“We welcome any further feedback and encourage our customers to get in touch with our customer services team directly who will be happy to help.”
A spokesman for Barratt Homes Manchester said: “As a joint development, it is the responsibility of both ourselves and our partners, Taylor Wimpey, to ensure the roads are complete for our customers.
“We can confirm that all roads for which Barratt have responsibility have now been completed. Any Barratt clients who have concerns are invited to contact us directly.”