Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire, made a site visit recently, together with district councillors Andrew Brady and Amy Wheelton, to the new-build Ashwood Park development in Overseal to see first-hand some of the problems being experienced by residents.
The site, developed by Persimmon Homes plc. in recent years, was left with numerous problems after workmen vacated the development in 2018. Ashwood Park residents, Roger Kingston and Fred Pavone, have joined forces to create the Ashwood Park Community Interest Company to campaign for improvements including a number which were urgent for health and safety reasons.
Roger and Fred sought help at the end of June 2019 and Heather agreed to contact the Planning Department at South Derbyshire District Council and the Managing Director of Persimmon Homes, to press for urgent action on the following issues:
- Incomplete play area containing a number of safety issues and surrounded by heras fencing.
- Unfinished Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) also surrounded by heras fencing.
- Overgrown grass throughout the development which had not been cut by Persimmon’s contractors for several weeks.
- Unbalanced soil levels to the side of paths and pavements on the site creating trip hazards.
- Incorrectly sized road name signs for the frames in situ.
- Abandoned compound site on Stoneyford Road.
These actions have yielded results and Heather dropped by recently to see first-hand how things have changed. Roger and Fred are pleased that the health and safety hazards at the play area and SUDS have been attended to, together with some works to make the development tidier. However, during the estate
walk further action points were identified and Heather has agreed to write back to Persimmon Homes to press for these to be attended to.
Following her visit, Heather said:
“I was really pleased to meet with Roger, Fred, Andrew and Amy in Overseal to see first-hand some of the problems being experienced by local residents.
It is good news that Persimmon have acted in response to our pressure and rightly so. The condition the development was left in was unacceptable and I know that district council officers too have been working hard to ensure the company honours its obligations to new homeowners.
I will be writing back to Persimmon to raise some of the additional issues we identified last week and hope that further action will take place soon.”
Mr Fred Pavone, Chairman of Ashwood Park CIC added:
“We are very grateful for Heather’s help. As residents, we had been struggling to persuade Persimmon to remedy the immediate safety concerns. Ashwood Park is a new community, but Heather’s influence has already made a positive and meaningful impact.
Hopefully Persimmon will now seek to complete the site in a proactive and timely manner before we consider how best to ensure our open spaces are managed and maintained.”
District Councillors Andrew Brady and Amy Wheelton commented:
“It was a pleasure to visit Ashwood Park to see the situation for ourselves. It was also good to meet Roger Kingston and Fred Pavone, and Heather’s work on this matter to date is much appreciated by residents.
We look forward to Persimmon Homes making further changes to finish the work they have started.”