Residents left in limbo for nearly two decades on 'unadopted' Yorkshire housing estate

Residents of a housing estate in an East Yorkshire town say they have been left in limbo for nearly two decades because a developer still has not done some of the work needed to get it “adopted” by the local council.

The Bovis housing estate in Brough has not been adopted by East Riding Council because of a standing objection from Yorkshire Water over surface water drainage issues.

It has led to increasing frustration as residents pay full council tax but cannot call on the council to do work, such as repairing pavements or filling potholes.

Vistry Group, formerly Bovis Homes, is meant to do the maintenance in the meantime.

Residents on a housing estate in Brough say they are fed up with potholes, weeds etc on their estate when they are paying whacking sums of council tax. East Riding Council hasn't adopted the roads because of an outstanding objection from Yorkshire Water. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Standing by a weed-infested verge, Wendy Shortland said when she rings, she gets the run around from Vistry, while the council passes the buck.

“They (Vistry) did have a regular crew cutting, but all of a sudden they stopped last year,” she said.

“It has got worse since then. The council says it is out of their hands, they always brush you off.”

A Band F ratepayer, Ms Shortland pays £284 council tax a month, and finds it frustrating that she has to be careful driving onto the estate because of the potholes, that people throw rubbish on weed-covered verges because they look uncared for, and a streetlight shining into her home flickers on and off across the road.

Coun Richard Meredith and Wendy Shortland and the weeds outside her front door Picture: Bruce Rollinson

East Riding Council does maintain Welton Primary School just around the corner – workers came recently, she said, and did all the hedges, while yards away “it’s like a jungle”. “It is like us and them,” she added.

Neighbour Scott Tomlin, a retained firefighter, said it was difficult to get into and out of his home, when children are being picked up from the school, but cannot get the council to put in parking measures because the roads are not adopted.

“It drives me crazy. I’m an on-call firefighter and if people block my drive I can’t get to the fire station. You have five minutes to get to Brough fire station. It’s quite frustrating. Brough is a nice area, you turn into here and you don’t expect these weeds everywhere.”

Ward councillor Richard Meredith said some residents who moved in almost 20 years ago were told then the roads would be adopted when the development was completed and are still waiting.

Retained firefighter Scott Tomlin Picture: Bruce Rollinson

The issue is affecting around 750 homes on the 1,250 house estate, completed in 2003.

He said: “When it was built nobody noticed – the roads were new, the streetlights worked, the planting was small. Now the roads are pitted, the lights are failing and planting is overgrowing into the highway, forcing cyclists into traffic. Residents deserve action and have done for a very long time.”

Coun Meredith said the council could take legal action requiring the work necessary for adoption to take place, or use its own capital funding to undertake the work itself.

Yorkshire Water said it had adopted part of the network, but was still awaiting further information about the surface water network, which carries rain water to the local watercourse, before it could adopt the rest, adding: “We’re going to get back in touch with the developer to check what progress has been made on this as we understand it’s causing issues for local residents.”

Vistry says it has been working with Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency to resolve an outstanding issue with a surface water outfall so the sewers an be adopted.

A statement added: “Once this issue has been resolved it will allow us to progress the adoption of the roads with the highways authorities.”

It said it has been carrying out regular maintenance work, including repairing faulty street lights and cutting grass in public spaces. “We will always address any issues such as streetlights which need repairing when they are reported to us,” it added.

A spokesman for East Riding Council said: “The council’s highway development management team is currently liaising with Vistry Homes to ascertain the correct information that will allow the council to move forward and adopt the highway.”