Residents issue ultimatum to authority and developers in row

Residents issue ultimatum to authority and developers in row

Residents issue ultimatum to authority and developers in row

First published in News

RESIDENTS are threatening to stop paying council tax because their estate has not been adopted – more than seven years after they moved in.

Homeowners in the Solus Estate, off Berechurch Hall Road, Colchester, pay the full amount of council tax, even though their roads and footpaths are not maintained by the highways authority, Essex County Council.

There are more than 300 homes in the estate.

It means, according to residents’ figures, together they “overpay” by about £250,000 a year.

Jeff Smith, chairman of the Solus Estate Residents’ Association, said: “We are paying month on month and year on year for a highways service we just aren’t getting and have never had since we moved in.

“So we are threatening to stop paying council tax. We are quite serious.

“We want to make it abundantly clear to the council we are not taking this anymore.”

Mr Smith has joined forces with Dave Harris, Colchester councillor for Berechurch, in a bid to get residents behind the plan.

The pair have devised a leaflet, headed “Do you know you’re being robbed?”, which will be distributed to every home in the estate by tomorrow night.

Mr Smith said: “There is something seriously wrong.

“My biggest concern is safety on the roads, because there are absolutely no restrictions.

“It can be like a circus in there, with cars parked on pavements and grass verges.”

Residents have already taken matters into their own hands by taking bollards from the adjacent building site and placing them at the side of the road to deter rogue drivers.

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