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Telford MP Lucy Allan asks PM to take action on unfinished housing estates - with video

By Mark Andrews | Telford | Politics | Published:

The Prime Minister has agreed to look at tightening legislation regarding new housing estates after Telford MP Lucy Allan accused builders of failing to honour their commitments once the houses are sold.

Lucy Allan in the House of Commons

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon, Ms Allan said many people in her constituency had found their dream homes to be wrought with pitfalls once they moved in, with unfinished roads and recreation areas.

Prime Minister's Questions: 10 January 2018

She accused both property developers and local government of failing to get to grips with the problems.

Ms Allan said one of the problems was developers failing to honour their commitments under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act, where developers are granted planning permission on condition that they carry out certain works.

This might include agreeing to provide green spaces or play areas.

Ms Allan said many people living on recently built estates had found that their roads were not adopted by the local authority, meaning that the council was not responsible for maintaining them.

She said: "Telford is a rapidly growing new town, where thousands of new houses are built every year, and people come to Telford to buy their home on a new-build estate and live their dream.

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"But for far too many the reality is unfinished communal areas, unadopted roads, non-compliance with Section 106, developers failing to take responsibility and the local council passing the buck."

She said the problem was far from unique to Telford, and said MPs across the country had experienced similar situations within their constituencies.

Ms Allan called on the Government to strengthen the rights of homeowners on newly built estates.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she fully understood the issues raised by Ms Allan, and would be looking to see how the laws could be toughened.

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"We recognise the concerns she raised," said Mrs May.

"We are committed to legislating with regards to the unfair practices she has identified, because it's only fair that freeholders should have the same right as leaseholders to challenge the service charges that they are being submitted to."

Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said Ms Allan raised a genuine concern that affected a lot of people, but was disappointed that she had chosen to politicise it by criticising Telford & Wrekin Council.

"The issues the MP for Telford raised are important ones, and primarily they stem from legislation," he said.

"There are councils right across the country, whether Labour or Conservative, that have been battling for new legislation through the Local Government Association, and it's a real shame that what is a serious issue is being used as a political football by the MP for Telford."

Councillor Davies said he hoped Ms Allan would work with him in lobbying for a change in the law.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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