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Years later, roads unfinished at Queen's Hills

PUBLISHED: 17:07 02 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:53 05 January 2017

Unfinished roads and temporary ramps in Redpoll Road on the Queen's Hills estate, which should be completed once all the building work is done. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Unfinished roads and temporary ramps in Redpoll Road on the Queen's Hills estate, which should be completed once all the building work is done. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2016

Years after homes were built, residents at a Costessey housing estate are still waiting for roads to be finished.

Redpoll Road which has unfinished roads and noisy manhole covers on the Queen's Hills estate, which should be completed once all the building work is done. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRedpoll Road which has unfinished roads and noisy manhole covers on the Queen's Hills estate, which should be completed once all the building work is done. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Only some smaller roads at the Queen’s Hills estate, which has been hit with problems since the developer behind it went into administration in 2009, have been surfaced. The main streets, apart from the road in and out of the estate, are not.

On Redpoll Road, homes were built five years ago, but the road remains unfinished and none of the estate’s streets has been adopted by Norfolk County Council.

One person, who is buying a house on Redpoll Road at Queen’s Hills, said they were surprised to find the road was still incomplete.

“I was bewildered as to how the developers have been allowed to get away with it,” they said.

“I have just sold my home in Suffolk which was newly built.

“The road outside the house was completed as soon as the house was finished and adopted the following year by the local authority.

“I also purchased a new home in Edinburgh, and had absolutely no problems with the roads being put into a ‘fair state’ for the occupants of estate.”

Norfolk County Council will not take over responsibility for the roads from the developers until they reach a certain standard, meaning all roads remain unadopted by the council at the moment.

But Gary Blundell, Costessey parish councillor for Queen’s Hills, said residents were patient about getting the roads finished because they understood they were living on an estate which was still being built.

Unfinished roads in Poethlyn Drive on the Queen's Hills estate, which should be completed once all the building work is done. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYUnfinished roads in Poethlyn Drive on the Queen's Hills estate, which should be completed once all the building work is done. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said it made little sense for roads to be finished when homes were still being constructed and heavy lorries were trundling through.

“The roads are there, all they need is topping off,” he said.

Projects at Queen’s Hills have faced severe delays since 2009 when the developer behind the estate, Cofton, went into administration.

Three developers – Bovis, Taylor Wimpey and Kier – are now finishing the estate.

A spokesperson for the developers said: “Sadly the original developers at Queen’s Hills went into administration during the construction of the development and, while the consortium has worked closely with the administrators to progress matters, this has caused delays in the completion of the roads and sewers at the development.

“However, we are pleased to report that agreement has now been reached with the local sewerage authority for the completion of the sewers on Redpoll Road.

“As such, final surfacing of this road is expected to commence in 2017 once the outstanding minor sewer remedial works are resolved.

“We will continue our efforts 
to ensure the completion and adoption of the other roads at the development at the earliest practical opportunity.”

Norfolk County Council response

Matt Tracey, highways network manager for Norfolk County Council, said: “While the county council sympathises with the residents’ continuing frustrations, the roads and footpaths within Queens Hill remain the sole responsibility of the consortium of house builders.

“We share the view that the lack of progress is disappointing and we remain entirely willing to take over responsibility for the roads as soon as they are completed and offered to us. However, while we will continue to do all we can to encourage this to happen, the responsibility for instigating the road adoption process lies entirely with the developers.

“In the meantime, we can reassure residents that the main spine roads will continue to be gritted during the winter in agreement between the county council and the developers.”

Do you have a story about Costessey? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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