New hope for Costessey families in road saga

Sam EmanuelThere is a new light at the end of the tunnel for people living on a development near Norwich, which was left unfinished after its owners went into administration.Sam Emanuel

There is a new light at the end of the tunnel for people living on a development near Norwich, which was left unfinished after its owners went into administration.

Families in Queen's Hills, in Costessey, and the parish, district and county councils have been pushing for Deloitte, which took over the management of the site from owners Cofton, to put the roads up for adoption so they could be maintained by Norfolk County Council rather than being left to disintegrate.

The company had ignored letters sent on October 1 and December 4 last year from the county council, which asked about its intentions regarding the roads adoption.

But today John Birchall, spokesman for the county council, said: 'Following our last letter, I am glad to report that we have been contacted by the administrators, but discussions are at an early stage and likely to continue in the days ahead.

'We are anxious to resolve the matter in the interests of current and future residents. Adoption of the spine roads would mean that maintenance of those roads would become the responsibility of the county council, as highways authority.

'However, any adoption agreement is voluntary and the county council has no power to insist that these roads are dedicated to the highways authority.'

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Problems on the estate include a lack of community facilities, such as shops and a community centre, poor road and pavement maintenance and the one access road for traffic, which links up with the exit to the large Sainsbury's store and Longwater Retail Park, causing congestion.

But more progress is likely to be made on the estate through discussions between South Norfolk Council and Gleeds, the agency which is representing and co-ordinating the various builders and developers on the site, in a bid to solve the stalemate.

Tim East, who is Liberal Democrat county, district and parish councillor for Costessey, said: 'I welcome the progress that has been made but it has been protracted and is taking an awful lot of time to resolve. Hopefully this will speed things up.

'The video conferencing meeting between South Norfolk District Council and Deloitte, which was referred to at Costessey Parish Council's meeting on Tuesday, signified that some progress had been made on a whole raft of issues, and it also indicated that some of the issues will be taken up through Gleeds rather than Deloitte.'

Do you have a story for the Evening News to investigate? Call reporter Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email

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