ESTATE EYESORE: Frustration over pond sparks plea for action
FRUSTRATION over “rotten vegetation” and unsightly weeds on a luxury Teesside estate have sparked pleas for a developer to do more.
Upmarket Grey Towers Village, in Nunthorpe, welcomed its first residents six years ago.
But some householders on the plush estate have become increasingly annoyed by the state of the pond area off Ellerbeck Avenue.
Now there have been fresh calls for Barratt Homes to sort out weeds, gravel paths and “rotten” bollards on the stretch.
Gary Skelton, 53, was one of the first residents to move into Grey Towers.
The father-of-two said he complained about trees being “dead” when they were first planted about five years ago – adding he’d raised concerns about overgrown grass for years.
Mr Skelton said: “When we said we weren’t happy with the grass and the weeds, we told them we wanted it cut more regularly.
“It took them five years to change several of the dead trees out – and there are some which still look a little bit under the weather.”
The off-shore manager usually works on oil rigs but has been working from home since the pandemic struck.
Requests for the pond to be cleared brought a plan to clear it last November.
But Mr Skelton said November came and went without work being carried out.
Another plan to clear the pond area earlier this month also failed to come to fruition.
Mr Skelton added: “Not only have we got problems with the pond itself, there are other bugbears for people on the estate.
“They put a gravel path down near the water, and anybody who has disabilities or kids in a pushchair, cannot get down to the pond.
“There are people on the estate who are older or disabled and they can’t utilise the pond they were sold as being a focal point for the estate and the beautiful place everyone can share.”
Mr Skelton has also complained about wooden bollards put around the pond area rotting away, as well as “black rotten vegetation” at the water’s edge making the spot an “eyesore”.
He added: “To tell you the truth, the estate is beautiful – but the developers have just left things to deteriorate in certain areas.
“It’s almost as though they’ve got you in and then you’re more or less cast aside.”
His neighbour Lisa Larkin was also unhappy about the upkeep of the grass at the wildlife spot.
A spokeswoman for Barratt Developments North East said the firm was sorry to hear residents didn’t feel the pond area had been adequately maintained – adding it had plans in place to improve it.
However, she also revealed the reason behind the delay for works.
The spokeswoman added: “While the pond was thoroughly cleaned last year, and the site is regularly maintained, further improvements have had to be put on hold due to the nesting of two bird species in the centre of the pond.
“We are monitoring the situation closely and will resume work as soon as we are able to do so without putting local wildlife at risk.”
Mr Skelton shared doubts about the “thorough clean” and questioned why residents hadn’t been told sooner about the nesting birds following a “survey” a few weeks ago.
He added: “There are birds in there but there are birds nesting in this pond all year round.
“If there were birds there, why didn’t this bloke trudging round doing his survey report back with this when we were told work would start on April 9?”
Barratt Homes has been contacted for further comment.
Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter
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