Finish our estate – or we’ll withhold tax

PUBLISHED: 10:18 15 February 2007 | UPDATED: 13:51 04 May 2010

FRUSTRATED members of a residents group may withhold their Council Tax in protest at a catalogue of unfinished work on Ely s new estates. Homeowners in the Beresford Road area of the city are furious after living with an unfinished road, broken fencing a

FRUSTRATED members of a residents' group may withhold their Council Tax in protest at a catalogue of unfinished work on Ely's new estates.

Homeowners in the Beresford Road area of the city are furious after living with an unfinished road, broken fencing and a flooded playground for nearly four years.

The county council will not adopt and maintain roads and open spaces in the area because developers have not fulfilled their agreements to finish work.

Now members of the residents' association - which started life as the neighbourhood watch group - have talked of keeping back their Council Tax until work is complete.

Association member Lynne Marshall said: "Fences are unfinished, the walkway and cycle path are unfinished and covered in rubble and the play park floods."

Beresford Road, which runs through the estate, has been properly surfaced at each end, but a stretch in the middle remains unfinished, meaning the council will not adopt each street that leads off the road.

Mrs Marshall, 37, said: "We've lived here since 2003 and in that time we've been batted between developers and the council and we've got absolutely nowhere."

Mrs Marshall, a mother-of-two, said residents have written to the county council demanding a rebate on their Council Tax, but their frustration has led them to take their protest to another level.

"We have spoken about putting the money into an account, and only paying when the work is done," she said.

Senior district counci enforcement officer, Trevor Eagle, said the council has taken steps when planning conditions have not been met.

"We appreciate feelings are running high over this issue and we are not saying for one moment we are satisfied with this situation - however, where the developer has made any promises to a purchaser, the breach of that promise or contract is a private matter between those two parties, and the homeowners are advised to raise this matter with the developers or sellers, as you would with any other purchase."

A spokesman from Ashwell Property Group, which developed Beresford Road itself, said: "We share the frustration of residents to finish the development and are looking forward to bringing the development to a satisfactory conclusion."W

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