Families face £16k bill for road repairs

FAMILIES living in a quiet Suffolk village are incensed they may suddenly face bills of up to £16,000 each to repair a road, because it has not been properly maintained through the years.

FAMILIES living in a quiet Suffolk village are incensed they may suddenly face bills of up to £16,000 each to repair a road, because it has not been properly maintained through the years.

Houses in the Church Road cul-de-sac at Old Newton, near Stowmarket, have a deed of covenant that obliges them to contribute to the upkeep of their local road.

But for the last 22 years residents of the five houses have not been asked for a penny and now the road has deteriorated to such an extent that the bill could be as high as £65,000.

Residents say that it would have been better to be asked for small amounts towards maintaining the road through the years, rather than letting the road deteriorate and families facing a large bill.


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Some homeowners have been informed that some could be responsible for a tenth of the costs while others up to a quarter and the overall projected figure to upgrade the road has been estimated at between £60,000 and £65,000.

Harriet Rice, who is married to Adrian and has three children, has lived at the family home in Church Road for about two years. Mrs Rice and her husband, a 36-year-old engineer, face a bill of about £6,500 towards the road.

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Mrs Rice, a 39-year-old playgroup assistant, said: “It's a disgrace, I think if Mid Suffolk District Council had done their job in the first place or even set up a repairing fund, we would not face these huge bills now.

“It is causing a great deal of distress and we feel that we have been let down and treated very badly.''

Nick Gowrley, a director with the district council, said residents and representatives from the council were among those who attended a meeting at the village hall to discuss the road used by residents' to get to their properties.

He said the district council had gifted the road to Anglia Circle, which is building homes for families on low incomes nearby, and added: “The road has fallen into disrepair.

“It services five or six properties, the majority of which were transferred from council ownership under right to buy.

“Covenants had been made to provide for repair, but have not been enforced. Circle Anglia's builders, Higgins, have supplied residents with costings for a high quality road surface. Circle Anglia have also agreed to produce a number of alternative scenarios for improving/repairing the access road.

“The council and Circle Anglia assured the residents that they were trying to address their concerns and are anxious to find a satisfactory outcome.''

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