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Highway adoption for Melbury, Great Park - progress report

October 10, 2015 10:32 AM

Parklands Ward councillors have received a huge postbag from local residents over a long time, so here's a reminder of the background to and progress report on the highway adoption for Melbury
Under the various agreements the Newcastle Great Park Consortium/Developers are able to dictate when they want adoption to take place and Newcastle City Council (NCC) officers have no power to make this happen. After Warkworth Woods was adopted in June 2012 officers tried to use that momentum to make progress with Melbury. Officers offered incentives to try and get some progress such as phased sign off and the potential for waiving the usual 12 month maintenance period. However these offers were not taken up.
Over time the Consortium/Developers used the fact that the Melbury SuDS pond was not adopted as the reason for not making progress. Whilst highway adoption could not happen until Northumbrian Water adopted the sewers and this could not happen until the Melbury SuDS was adopted, there was no reason why these two activities could not run concurrently.
A joint inspection of the Melbury SuDS took place between NCC, Northumbrian Water (NWL), Environment Agency and the NGP Consortium in July 2013 and the repair works identified were completed by the Consortium/Developers in early 2014. Following this a maintenance agreement for the SuDS was put in place between NCC/NGP in October 2014 and NWL formally adopted the sewer network in December 2014.
In early September 2014 (in advance of the maintenance agreement and sewer adoption being in place) NCC officers undertook a formal inspection of the Melbury phase 1 area to identify remedial works and this was provided to the Consortium/Developer. Works did not begin on the remedial works until June 2015.
The question of highway adoptions at Melbury was discussed at length at a recent regular monthly meeting with the Consortium. The main points to emerge were:
• The Developers still haven't submitted adoption plans showing all 5 phases of inspection/remedial works. Their representative undertook to chase this.
• The Council agreed to sign off Phase 1 when the works are completed without requiring the usual 12 month maintenance period provided that the developers commit to a date by which all remedial works for all 5 phases will be completed. The Consortium representative said it was expected to finish the Phase 1 remedial works including kerb replacement within 4 weeks. However, the developers still need to sort out the streetlights with the power company SSE as some are located in private land and will require access agreements or wayleaves. A date from the developer for completion of all 5 phases is awaited.
Although the developers have requested phase by phase adoption, the Council will not accept 5 separate S38 Agreements because of the amount of officer time/cost involved. This means that the whole of Melbury will only be adopted upon satisfactory completion of phase 5. The Consortium representative agreed to discuss this with the Managing Directors of builders Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey.