Developers who built homes in wrong place are slammed by councillors

Developers who built houses in the wrong place – putting children at risk from cars – have been heavily criticised and will have to pay for their mistake.

Thursday, 10th October 2019, 11:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 12:37 pm
Halfway Nursery and Infant School

Parents and governors at Halfway Nursery and Infant School have slammed developers who built three houses on a small parcel of land between Rotherham Road and Rotherham Road North.

Because the homes were put up in the wrong place, a turning circle for cars now has to be created near the school, which parents fear could put children in harm’s way.

Initially highway officers said railings were not needed but angry councillors demanded them after hearing what had happened. They also insisted on the developer paying for the railings.

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Dr Liz Austin, chair of governors at the school, told the planning board: “Some of our children are only just three, up to the age of seven, and we have a playgroup and toddler groups so we have a lot of foot traffic at the main school gate and the children’s safety is our primary concern.

“Officers refer to railings as street clutter which really is quite offensive given we are protecting children’s safety, which is paramount.”

Councillors asked if the homes could be demolished but officers said it would be “too draconian” to demand this.

Coun Andrew Sangar said: “The developer has failed and has put very young children at risk. They have built these properties in the wrong place and have had to come back and put a turning circle on a grass verge.

“When developers don’t stick to the process, can you say you got it wrong and you need to start again?”

Councillors compromised on making the developer pay for the railings. Coun Peter Garbutt said: “They have to take the blame and we can exact some justice.”

And Coun Chris Rosling-Josephs added: “When a developer has not stuck to the planning permission, usually we want to say knock it down but we are in a situation where we can’t do that. I am very disappointed. They have made a mistake and this is what it’s going to cost them to put it right.”