CONCERNED: Cost for damage to footpaths will come out of public funds
Cllr Joan McTigue claims that contractors have caused pavement damage on Kirkham Row, Image: Ian Cooper
A Middlesbrough councillor is concerned that costs for damage caused by construction workers at a street in Beechwood will come out of public funds.
Cllr McTigue has raised the issues on Kirkham Row as she is worried that the public might end up paying some of the bill, due to it being taken out of the council’s budget.
The quiet residential street is currently being used as an access road for the 36 bungalows being built by Mandale Homes at the end of Kirkham Row.
The road is not wide enough so the trucks are forced to drive down the pavement to reach the construction site.
Cllr McTigue, who represents Longlands and Beechwood ward, claims that deep cracks in the pavement and uneven paving stones are a result of the works being carried out.
She added: “This sort of thing should be established, who is going to pay for any damages occurred, should be established before they start work.
“Surely, that is going to be much more difficult than having something in agreement about the damage that is done.”
The councillor has been told by Middlesbrough Council that the builders will be billed at the end of the works to save charging them throughout.
While the developers were given permission to use Kirkham Row as an access road during the planning process, Cllr McTigue remains frustrated with the decision.
She believes that there should have been a site visit, which was dropped due to Covid-19, and councillors would have recognised that Kirkham Row wasn’t suitable.
Cllr McTigue added: “They should not have allowed it to be built when they only had that as the access road. It is no good as an access road. That road is not suitable for heavy vehicles.”
On May 7 2021, the council announced that the footpaths on the northerly side of Beechwood fields directly behind the houses on Westerham Grove, Stanmore Avenue, Pevensey Close and Kirkham Row would be closed off to allow for building works to commence.
A temporary footpath has also been erected for people to be able to walk to Beechwood fields.
Once the houses are built Kirkham Row will also be used to access the new bungalows.
A spokesperson for Middlesbrough Council said: “As with all new schemes any damage to the existing highways, paths, or access points is the responsibility of the developer or builder to correct.
“Unfortunately it is not possible to know the extent of any eventual damage caused prior to work starting and before any damage is actually caused.
“Instead council officers survey the land before work begins and again once complete and remedial works are then carried out either by the developers, or paid for by them, and this is part of the highways agreement between the developer and the council.
“New schemes are also monitored by the council in case urgent reparations are required of the developers during the build.”
Mandale Homes have been contacted for comment.
Words: Emily Craigie, Local Demcoracy Reporter
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