Residents' rage as housing estate road still not finished six years on
Residents’ dreams of moving into a new housing estate have turned into a nightmare due to the poor condition of roads that haven’t been finished for six years.
People started moving into the Regent's Wharf development off Bloxwich Road in Walsall in 2014, paying up to around £300,000 for their homes.
But their joy has soured due to a string of problems with the highways which have not been surfaced, leaving residents having to negotiate defects such as raised drains and potholes.
The misery has been compounded with a number of street lights never having worked and a fence at the entrance of the estate falling down and never being repaired.
As a result, they have suffered damage to cars and seen the value of their properties plummet prompting fed-up homeowners to sell up and leave.
The homes are on Northumberland Way, Yorkshire Grove and Shropshire Close, next to the HomeServe headquarters around one mile north of Walsall town centre.
Ward Councillor Gaz Ali said he first got involved with the issue as a local campaigner in 2014 and has been battling with the developer Mar City Land to seek a resolution ever since.
He said Walsall Council was unable to take on responsibility for the unadopted roads until the work had been completed.
A spokesman for Mar City Land said it was “unfortunate” the work hadn’t been completed but assured residents it would be done.
Moving in, moving out
Barbara Malysz, who moved into the area six years ago with her husband and daughter, said she was going to sell her home.
She said: “We are not very happy with the roads. It should not be like this. It is upsetting as it is a new estate.
“We are so surprised that these roads haven’t been finished yet. This is why a lot of people have moved out or are selling.
“Even when the fence fell down, nothing was done and around there is a lot of rubbish around there.”
Chris Hadgkiss and his wife moved in four years ago and he said: “It shouldn’t take this long to do simple resurfaces of the roads.
“My wife and I have a contract which said the road would be resurfaced. If it carries on we will seek some legal advice and get something done quicker.
“The metal is raised and you have to swerve and do a slalom to get around it.
“Some of the debris has resulted in me having to change wheels on my car. It is just becoming a nuisance.”
Theresa Ranford, who has lived there four years, said the situation was putting visitors off from coming.
She said: “It is horrendous. It makes me feel angry because this is a nice estate. People who come to visit ask, ‘what’s the matter with your roads, why aren’t they being done?’
“Why weren’t they done when the houses were finished?”
'They can't even change light bulbs'
Councillor Ali said: “The developer has basically done nothing. I am so fed up with the whole situation. They can’t even change light bulbs – there are street lights which have never worked.
“The state of the roads are absolutely disgusting. A lot of people are leaving and some thinking of leaving but if the roads are completed, hopefully those residents will decide to stay here.
“Some of the residents who left told me they have sold their homes for £20,000 less than their value.
“When you enter, you think ‘wow’. But when you get further in, it is terrible. Everybody on the estate is suffering one way or another because the developer has not fulfilled their duties.”
A spokesman for Mar City Land said: “The company is aware of ongoing issues at the sites.
“It is unfortunate that this has taken longer to resolve than is desirable. There is a process that needs to be followed prior to surfacing works being completed.
“The company is working with the relevant authorities and sub-contractors to ensure that the remaining works are completed in a more timely and orderly manner.
“Residents will see renewed activity on these sites in the coming period as the outstanding works are attended to.
“Furthermore, these matters are between the company and our customers and we respond directly to customers to resolve any issues that are raised.”