Residents wait eight years for roads to be adopted

PUBLISHED: 12:22 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:12 06 May 2010

EIGHT years after a huge St Albans estate was built several of the roads have yet to be adopted leaving residents worried and confused. The Highfield Park Estate - part of the old hospitals site - includes several roads which are not eligible for street c

EIGHT years after a huge St Albans estate was built several of the roads have yet to be adopted leaving residents worried and confused.

The Highfield Park Estate - part of the old hospitals site - includes several roads which are not eligible for street cleaning and grass cutting services.

Part of the problem relates to missing paperwork lost in transit when Herts County Council (HCC) took over responsibility for the roads from St Albans District Council.

But district Councillor Chris Brazier, who has been campaigning on behalf of residents to get the problem resolved, said: "The matter is further complicated by the fact that the estate was built by a group of developers - some of whom are no longer in business and others who have been bought out and are difficult to track down.

"But to my mind the buck must stop with HCC who are happily taking council tax off these people for provision of services which they are denied."

Chris Driver, Chairman of Highfield Park Residents Association, said it recently took five months to get stolen drain covers replaced on the estate due to the confusion over whose responsibility it was.

But one of the worst aspects of the matter is the difficulty people experience when trying to sell their homes.

Cllr Brazier said: "Once the searches reveal that the road is unadopted, solicitors advise their clients either not to buy the house or to withhold funds until someone accepts responsibility."

He added that HCC could probably short-circuit this problem on other estates by making developers pay a hefty bond to be withheld until the road was adopted.

A spokesperson for HCC said the stolen drain covers should have been replaced by the developer but said: "Given the dangerous nature of the incident we carried out the work to protect the safety of the public.

"The adoption of three of the eight schemes on this estate have been resolved and, once the developer supplies the remaining information we have requested the adoption of two further schemes can be resolved."

She added that HCC should not adopt highways that were substandard which would put additional pressure on maintenance budgets.

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