Controversy at estate after planning blunder

Friday 13th May 2022 6:19 am
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Building materials left at the Crosby Meadow estate -

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A group of Crosby residents have met to discuss the state of unfinished roads and a deviation from original planning permission – and to raise concerns over the planning application for 18 houses in the area.

Middle MHK Jane Poole-Wilson was at the meeting. She says she is now trying to have the concerns addressed.

The residents believe there are a significant number of issues surrounding the Crosby Meadows estate, which includes both a Co-op shop and a Costa cafe. The state of the roads is one.

Emma Linley, a home owner in the estate, believes the roads are unsafe.

She said: ‘When coming in and out of the estate you have to weave your way round the raised ironworks to get in without trashing your car, it’s not safe in terms of access, and the pavements aren’t much better, people could easily trip over.’

John Lovelady, from JM Project Management which developed the estate opposite the Crosby Hotel, told the Examiner the roads haven’t been complete yet because a service duct needs to be installed, which allows essential utility pipes to run underground.

He said: ‘We could have, as developers, finished all the roads and cut the roads up to put a service duct in, but we wanted a good finish and for it to last a long time.’

Ms Linley said there were also issues with individual properties, such as snag lists and planning permission problems, and emphasises the lack of options of what they can do.

She said: ‘If you went and bought a sofa and you sat on the sofa and the bottom fell out, you would have trading standard or the Office of Fair Trading, just like if you bought a car on finance and the engine blew up, you could return the vehicle.

‘You’ve got into the most expensive purchase of your life and there’s no way to go. I don’t know how there is a potential for more houses, when the existing residents haven’t had their obligations fulfilled.’

The planning application for 18 houses, which Marown Commissioners will be discussing at their next meeting on May 18, has been met with criticism due to a mapping error that meant the land was originally not supposed to be zoned for residential development.

The application includes five first-time buyer houses and a landscaped area at the south of the development, with a pond and a mixture of trees.

Mr Lovelady said despite delays, it is in everyone’s best interests that the houses and roads get complete.

He said: ‘During the period of development from 2018 to now there has been a period of delay due to Covid, due to a shortage of skilled workforce on the island, which has been incurred not just by ourselves but by others, and also a supply issue that we’re all still struggling from.

‘If we were to get planning for the 18 houses, and people came to look at them, and the other houses weren’t finished and the roads hadn’t been done, I don’t think there would be too many people interested in buying the new houses, so obviously it’s in our best interests, and everyone else’s best interests that we finish them.’

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