The wait goes on for residents

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Concerns have been raised over a lack of progress at the Oliver’s Heights development in Scarborough - despite assurances that work was due to be completed over summer.

Despite ongoing meetings and discussions between the Leeds-based developer Oakapple and council representatives, residents are still waiting to see unfinished work brought to completion.

For years residents at the Seamer Road development have been faced with unfinished road surfaces, raised manhole covers, street lighting that doesn’t work and overgrown “green areas”.

The first homes were ready for sale and rent in 2005 and work on the roads was expected to be complete by 2008.

But questions over funding for the project and wranglings over who has responsibility for the work have led to major delays.

The issues have been taken up by Falsgrave Park ward councillor John Ritchie on behalf of residents, who he said are “at the end of their tether”.

He explained that a meeting was held at the end of August with officers from the borough and county council, representing the legal, planning and highways departments.

Cllr Ritchie added that the objective was to have everyone around one table and sort out the next course of action.

He said: “Officers have now gone back to the Town Hall and County Hall to draw up detailed lists of what needs to be done.

“There is a legal framework to negotiate, but I’ve been assured that they will have a meeting in early October with residents to tell them what the position is.”

Cllr Ritchie added that he was glad there had been some movement, but was disappointed that there had been no change on the communal areas.

Speaking to the Scarborough News back in March, Oakapple chairman Phil Taylor said that the green areas - which would feature lawns, paved areas and seating - would hopefully be completed by the end of summer.

He also expressed how there was a great amount of “will on everyone’s part” to get the work completed, but that it had been difficult to move forward due to the economic climate.

The Scarborough News contacted him again for an update on the situation, but he was not available to comment at the time of going to print.

Cllr Ritchie said that residents had been waiting long enough and hoped that they would start to see visible changes very soon.

He added: “They’re still absolutely fuming. They’ve been cutting the grass verges themselves and picking up litter.

“I completely understand their frustrations and I’ve been working hard to broker meetings between the various parties. We want to go some way to restoring faith in the local authority.”

Resident Malcolm Chell said he felt “disappointed and let down” with the lack of action so far.

He added: “It borders on incompetent. The council should be ensuring developers conform to planning agreements.”