Labour: “Developers often do not complete the community provision”
Rhiannon Meades, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Mid Bedfordshire, has written to Councillor James Jamieson, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, calling on him and the Council to hold developers to account.
This follows complaints and concerns that have been expressed to Rhiannon by residents across Mid Bedfordshire. Labour say that developers often do not complete the community provision, including sometimes even roads, when they have finished building the houses or industrial units on which they make their profits.
The party claims that residents can end up having to pay service charges because the Council has not adopted roads and has not enforced planning conditions. It gives the Millers development at Silsoe as an example. Local resident and mother of two, Louise Chinnery said:
“It’s outrageous that greedy developers take the money and run. I have lived on my new estate for over six years. The developer didn’t finish the development so that it could be adopted by the council and Central Beds have never held them to account. We pay extortionately high maintenance fees which we don’t see anything for.”
Labour say that it is a similar story at the Home Farm estate in Cranfield. Joel, a resident of the new estate spoke about the length of time it took for the developer to complete their road. He told Labour:
“In addition, we still pay a £120 service charge on top of our council tax. I don’t know what the council are doing about it.”
Rhiannon says that these problems compound the planning crisis in Central Bedfordshire. She said:
“Conservative planning in Central Bedfordshire is a shambles. The Local Plan is at serious risk of having to be withdrawn. When developers do build new estates they are not being held to account by the Conservative Council.
“I have asked Cllr Jamieson to take action and have proposed a six point action plan. On behalf of local residents I hope that he and the Council will adopt this action plan.”
The pre-election period, known as Purdah, places restrictions on the information local authorities can publish. The aim of this is to stop public money being used to promote a political party. Therefore any local authority would be unable to respond to open letters, such as this one, sent by any candidate during the pre-election period.