Driffield News

No luck for Horseshoe residents in bid to get road fixed

“Why am I paying my council tax if I am not getting anything for it?”

This was the reaction of resident of The Horseshoe and Driffield town councillor Paul Rounding when he discovered East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) will not be adopting the road and footway of the cul-de-sac until residents pay for the surfaces to be brought up to an adoptable standard.

The shocking revelation, which Cllr Rounding described as ‘despicable’, came at a meeting of Driffield Town Council when mayor of Driffield and East Riding ward councillor Matt Rogers – who has been trying to find out further information from the highways department at ERYC – read out an email he had received from Andrew Forsey from the Highway Development Management team.

We pay our Council Tax to maintain roads, street lighting, street cleaning, rubbish collection, so why am I paying my Council Tax if I am not getting anything for it?

Cllr paul rounding

The email said that as there is no Section 38 agreement covering the development, which is where the developer constructs a road which is offered to the local authority for adoption as a public highway, the council is not in a position to adopt the road and footway.

He said a possible way forward was for it to be adopted under the provisions of Section 228 of the Highways Act 1980 which would involve each resident paying an equal share of the cost of bringing the road up to an adoptable standard.

As reported in the Wolds Weekly, development on The Horseshoe, situated just off Woldholme Avenue, started in the mid-1960s, with residents at the time told that once the final property was built, the council would take on the upkeep of the road and footway.

The last plot was filled in 2020 but, despite some of the original property-owners paying a bond, which could amount to over £200,000, the highways have still not been adopted, which means their upkeep is not maintained by the local authority.

In previous years, those living on The Horseshoe were offered compensation in the form of reduced Council Tax, however, all are now paying full rates.

As well as being forced to divert around potholes on the road surface and cracks on the pavement, residents also have to watch gritters and road sweepers turn around at the bottom of the estate.

The only value the residents receive for their tax-paying money are regular bin collections, whilst in recent months, all street lighting has been upgraded.

Cllr Rounding said he will continue to fight to have the cul-de-sac adopted and will seek legal advice.He said: “I don’t know how the council can justify this statement. I was always led to believe that the council was there for highways and that is what we pay our rates for.

“All we are asking for is a bit of tarmac for our footway and highway. We have a base course on the highway and all it requires is a wearing course on top.

“We pay our Council Tax to maintain roads, street lighting, street cleaning, rubbish collection, so why am I paying my Council Tax if I am not getting anything for it?

“We are all paying full rates and not getting any reduction.

“Some of the first houses were built in the 1960s and 70s as a Mrs Moss site and some of the original residents put a bond down, which was held by the former borough council. So where has that money gone now?

“We were always told that when the last house was built, the council would adopt the highway, but that hasn’t happened. I don’t understand why they aren’t adopting it.

“When I bought my house there was nothing to say it wouldn’t be adopted or that it was my responsibility to make good the highways.

“I am extremely disappointed by the response from East Riding Council. We are not asking for the earth, just for the basic amenities.

“It beggars belief – we have elderly residents who have to walk down the road because the footpaths are uneven and covered in moss.

“It needs doing now – you would think an award-winning council would want to be responsible for its elderly residents.

“It is despicable and we will not let this lie; we will be seeking legal advice.”

Cllr Rogers said he has gone back to the highways department to ask further questions and to reiterate his questions about the whereabouts of the bond.

He added that Mr Forsey had said that as well as bringing the highways up to an adoptable standard, the residents would also be responsible for getting the sewers adopted by Yorkshire Water and securing an estimate and reputable contractor for the works.

Mr Forsey said in his experience developments of this size often do not get adopted because not all residents are willing to fund the highways works which he said could be a significant figure.

A spokesman for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said that this is not a unique situation in the county and that the council’s hands are tied.

The spokesman said: “This is a complex issue dating back decades involving private houses built by a developer.

“Unfortunately, in this case, the council has no record of deposits being paid to a private developer and no adoption agreement has ever been in place with the council.

“We sympathise with the residents, this is an unfortunate situation, but our hands are tied.

“The way forward is for the residents to arrange for a contractor to carry out a survey and carry out the road work needed.

“This is not a unique situation, the council deals with a number of unadopted roads created by developers across the East Riding.”

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