'Who'll buy a house opposite this?': new South Ribble estate left in a state

A Farington resident says she fears people are being put off buying her home because of the mess that greets them on the opposite side of the road when they come to view it.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 6:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 12th June 2021, 12:26 am

Jean Fairman lives opposite Miller Homes’ new Croston Meadow estate on Croston Road, which was completed around six months ago.

Since then, however, a corner of the development that was used as a compound during construction has been left strewn with detritus – including broken bricks, slabs of concrete and huge mounds of earth.

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Jean Fairman says people who come to view her home want to know what is happening with the estate opposite (image: Neil Cross)

Jean put her house on the market five weeks ago – and in spite of the fact that one estate agent who valued it predicted that the property would spark a bidding war, nobody has yet made an offer.

“Houses that go up for sale on Croston Road sell very quickly. I had a viewer this week who said mine was a beautiful house, but asked: ‘What’s happening over there?’

“It’s the same every time someone comes. All I can say is that they are going to landscape it and put trees up, but I don’t know when.

“I contacted the site manager in April asking when it will be cleared up and he said in two weeks’ time – but nothing has been done.

Housebuilder Miller Homes says the clean-up will begin next week

“The part of the site facing my house has been used as a dumping ground the whole time the development has been getting built. One day, I even saw one of the workmen urinating in broad daylight, in spite of the fact there were portable toilets available,” Jean said.

The only items that have been removed from the area since Jean made her complaint to Miller Homes were flags and hoardings bearing the company’s branding.

She also says that South Ribble Borough Council’s intervention has come to nothing, with the authority telling her that although they had been in contact with the developer, lockdown meant that it might take a while to resolve the matter.

“Lockdown did not stop the development going ahead or the selling of the houses, so it shouldn’t stop them returning to the dumping ground to put it back how they found it,” added Jean, who said that she was indebted to Farington West ward councillor Stephen Thurlbourn who had been “the only person” who had tried to help.

There is lot of work to be done before the area can be landscaped (image: Neil Cross)

He said that the developer “has a responsibility to be considerate” to existing residents and those who have moved onto its new estate.

“They just don’t seem to care – it has been left in a state. They have to come back and make the site good, as they agreed with the council – so why aren’t the council enforcing it?” he asked.

A spokesperson for Miller Homes told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that it was poised to begin clearing up the site.

“We are aware of some outstanding work on our development at Croston Meadows and can confirm work is scheduled to begin next week. We wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused and take this opportunity to reassure local residents we are committed to completing the works as soon as possible.”

Nearby residents had hoped that the former compound area on the site would have been cleared up by now

Meanwhile, South Ribble Borough Council’s cabinet member for planning, business support and regeneration, Bill Evans, said: “Council officers were first made aware of the resident’s concerns on 7th May. Since that time, officers have been working with the developers to establish a completion date for these works.

“While we understand the frustrations of the resident, the landscaping of what is to be a public open space can only be completed at the appropriate time of year in order to ensure the viability of trees and shrubs.”

Farington West councillor Stephen Thurlbourn, with Jean Fairman