FURIOUS residents living on a newly-built housing estate have hit out at a developer after it started work on a road - and left it unfinished almost eight months later.
Those living on the Hunters Fold and Paddocks View development in Middleton St George, near Darlington, claim their lives have been made a "misery" ever since.
Raising concerns, residents said exposed electrical wires and ditches had led to the works becoming a "death trap," while saying nothing has been done since January.
However, since The Northern Echo has contacted the developer responsible, Story Homes, contractors have this week moved onto the site to complete the work required.
The roadworks have been left unfinished for the past eight months Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT
But speaking to The Northern Echo, one resident accused Story Homes of "fobbing" them off, saying it had repeatedly failed to keep to its promises to complete the work.
The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said contractors had dug up a large section of Goosepool Way, off Sadberge Road, leaving it exposed to the elements.
He said: "The whole estate has been living in misery for months, it's just been a talking point on the street about how long this debacle will actually continue.
"They have been willing to dig up the site and the road and then leave it like this for months on end - it's as though once they have your money, they don't care."
Residents say live wires have been left exposed Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT
The resident, who claimed he had been advised the work would take just three weeks to complete back in January, said the site had been left as an "accident waiting to happen."
Describing that cables had been exposed and ditches left unfilled for months, the resident said there had been concerns on the estate for the safety of children and those with disabilities.
He said: "It's beggars' belief that they would leave the whole thing open and exposed for many months when there’s a lot of young children that are playing on the estate.
"It’s an accident waiting to happen. They could fall in, there are electrical live wires down there.
The resident, who also said a disabled neighbour had found access severely restricted from the works, added that residents in the state believed the site had been left in an unsafe condition.
He added: "A resident who used to work for the National Grid said some of this should have been covered in sand while they were looking into it due to safety."
The road, off Sadberge Road, was dug up back in January Pictures: SARAH CALDECOTT
In response, the developer which has housing estates across the region including those in Yarm, Middlesbrough and Durham said that an alternative contractor had now been found.
A spokesperson from Story Homes said: “We are sorry to hear that our residents have been impacted by the delays we have encountered with completing the 278 works.
"The contractor appointed started work on the road at the end of April and discovered an issue with the services levels which we had to liaise with the local authority and service providers on.
"Once this had been resolved and we could proceed with completing the works, the contractor, partly due to staffing shortages as a result of the Covid pandemic, advised that they could not return to complete the works in the near future.
"As soon as the contractor confirmed that work could not recommence, we began sourcing an alternative contractor to complete the road."
Story Homes said that it is expected the work to now be completed in the week ending August 13, subject to delays "outside of our control," such as adverse weather or Covid.
The spokesperson added: “The health and safety of our residents and the local community is of the utmost importance to us and we have ensured that the appropriate safety measures are in place, including barriers to prevent access to work areas.”
For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.
Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on [email protected] or contact 01325 505054