CENTURION FIELDS – UPDATE ON PUBLIC OPEN SPACE/PATHWAY TO OTLEY ROAD/ONGOING MAINTENANCE ISSUES

I refer to previous newsletters and can advise that communication has been continuing between the Council’s Planner for the site and DWH in respect of the footpath that links the site to Otley Road and also in respect of the boundary planting and existing hedge on Church Lane and the ongoing maintenance of the public open space. The Planner’s most recent comments to DWH are:

“Thanks for the plan showing a ramp in the revised [footpath] location. We are content that this ramp can be adopted once built and that subject to no dig construction techniques and careful works on site the existing trees should not be seriously affected. The revised location ameliorates concern [in respect of a crossing point on Otley Road]  in part but clearly if development proposals come forward for more housing on adjoining land resulting in more people using this footpath then a crossing could be required in the future.  

We will need to write to the adjoining resident to inform them of the change of location of the footpath ramp before works on site are started. Detailed construction and design drawings should be prepared. The installation of some railings to this footpath can be discussed. Once we have a detailed design we will contact the neighbouring residents closest to the ramp.

With regards to the visibility splay and the existing hedges along Church Lane. The visibility splay needs to be provided for the lifetime of the development. Both the existing new hedge and the historic hedge will need to be trimmed and thereafter maintained by you or your management company and we need to see documentation to show it will be carried on in perpetuity. Subject to a suitable skilled and qualified person undertaking the works to these hedges there is no problem for you to carry this work out to provide the visibility splays shown on the approved. Cllr Anderson is receiving complaints from the residents that people are parking their cars near to the junction of Church Lane and Holt Avenue and they are causing problems with drivers exiting Holt Avenue. There is the potential for a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) to restrict parking in this location to improve safety and visibility. This would cost up to £5000. Is this something that you are able to assist with given we are able to support your revised ramp location and save significant costs over the amount of footway you would need to have constructed along Otley Rd if you had needed to construct the original approved ramp location.” A copy of the most recent plan I have received is attached showing the ramp next to no. 25 Holt Avenue. I apologise for the size of the text but have to keep it to A4 size.

DWH Senior Technical Coordinator responded as follows:

“We are very happy that we can now approach our engineering and arboriculture consultants to get the footpath link proposal drafted technically. Timescales for implementation will need to be agreed with all parties concerned as we would like to tie this in with the works to the Public Open Space.

We will instruct the contractor to look at trimming the hedge along Church Lane and that this is picked up on future maintenance schedules.

I have discussed the TRO issue with my Director. We feel the item regarding the footpath and parking on Holt Avenue is inappropriate to be linked. We have maintained since the end of last year that to deliver the footpath shown on the approved plans was difficult from a safety and constraints point of view. The alternative solution will present a safer and more usable link for the existing residents and the wider community.

According to the information we have received it appears to be overspill parking from the social club on a weekend that is causing the problem to parking along Holt Avenue, this is obviously not linked to David Wilson Homes . We feel this problem should be resolved through consultation with the Social Club and we therefore respectfully have to decline any financial assistance on this occasion.”

In respect of the maintenance of the public open space I have received the following update from the Customer Service manager at DWH:

“I can confirm that the open space area remains within the control of David Wilson Homes at this time pending the future handover to Allerton Property Management.

I did view the area whilst on site last week and whilst it had been mown, I did note the grass cuttings had not been collected. We will now appoint an external landscaping contractor to undertake maintenance of the area, including regular grass cutting throughout the summer growing period and ensure that cuttings are collected. We will endeavour to complete a first cut and collection w/c 20th July.

Upon handover to the managing agent, they will assume full responsibility for future works in accordance with their own maintenance specification.”