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Sort out the Solus Estate, or we’ll stop paying tax
RESIDENTS of a “ghost estate” say the area is so badly neglected by local authorities they are considering withholding their council tax.
People started moving into the Solus estate, off Berechurch Hall Road, Colchester, in 2007.
Five years on, grass verges have been worn down because motorists can park where they like as there are no yellow lines or restrictions.
Weeds have started sprouting through the pavements, while some shop units remain empty.
Although developer Taylor Wimpey has completed the development, it has not yet been “adopted” by Essex County Council .
Residents say the only council service they receive is bin collections by Colchester Council .
Jeff Smith, former chairman of the Solus Residents’ Association and a William Harris Road resident, described Solus as a “ghost estate”.
He said: “We were one of the first to move in and we were told the company would take a couple of years for the build to finish, then the council would adopt the properties and put in the infrastructure – bins, road markings and the like.
“Five-and-a-half years later, the development is full and residents have come and gone. But we are still waiting.
“Some residents don’t pick up their dog mess, but those who do have got nowhere to put the bags as there are no bins.”
A meeting with ward councillor Dave Harris on Thursday night saw residents threaten to hold back future council tax payments.
Mr Smith added: “We demand some kind of response to this. When will it be – tomorrow, next month, next year?
“We are potentially thinking of holding back our council tax. I believe everyone on this development is sick to the back teeth of it.”
Colchester Council said it was legally unable to provide services other than rubbish collections until the roads had been adopted by the county council.
A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said the company hoped the roads would be adopted “in the very near future”.
He said: “We are now in the closing stages of the adoption process for the roads off William Harris Way, and are currently carrying out a programme of final remedial works.”
A county council spokesman said it could not give a date for the adoptions as a legal agreement was pending approval.
He said: “Taylor Wimpey will continue to maintain the area for a year after legal approval, whereupon the council will take over responsibility and make the necessary arrangements for highways maintenance.”