Why residents pay to fix their own streets in this area
Neighbours in three Coventry streets have called on the council to ‘do their duty’ and get them out of a so-called “cash cow” maintenance contract.
Burlywood Close, Seashell Close and Mistyrose Close in Allesley were built by developer Bellway Homes over a decade ago but never offered to the council.
As a result, the roads remain private, meaning residents have to stump up extra cash on top of their council tax to have them maintained by an external company.
Resident Bob Mitchell said he pays around £250 for maintenance each year, and claims he and neighbours have also had to fork out money for other work, including “several thousands of pounds” to fix a drainage issue.
“To me that is disgraceful,” he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Similar issues were brought to light at full council in January, where councillors agreed to carry out a review of the “unfair” charges – dubbed “cash cow” contracts.
A petition of 38 signatures was brought to a city services cabinet meeting on Monday, February 25, asking the council to adopt the roads.
Ward councillor Glenn Williams said: “This is quite a serious issue across a number of sites.
“We need to get something that works for the residents, for this scheme and others.”
Council officer Colin Whitehouse said the request for an adoption can be sent by the developer via a Section 37 notice of the 1980 Highway Action.
The council can also ‘make up’ private streets under sections 205 to 218 of the act.
If deemed of suitable quality for a public highway, the council can then issue a notice to adopt the road under Section 228 of the act, provided there are no objections from the owner – although those objections can be overturned by a Magistrates Court.
Mr Whitehouse added: “It would have to come up to highway adoption standards to take it on – so there is a cost implication too.”
Mr Whitehouse recommended residents go through the “correct legal process” by asking Bellway to offer the roads to the council for adoption.
But it was resolved that Cllr Williams and officers will also ask Bellway about getting the roads adopted.
Mr Mitchell said after the meeting: “I believe the council are duty bound to have the road adopted.
“There is no reason why it should not be taken on by them. It is just something they do not want to do as the cost implications are on them rather than the residents.”
Bellway have been approached for comment but have not yet responded.