Residents' petition persuades developers to tidy up 'neglected and overgrown' estate in Milton Keynes
The grass was waist high in places
People power has triumphed on an estate where weeds were allowed to flourish.
Residents on Oakgrove Park accused builders Crest Nicholson of failing to finish their contracted duties by not completing and maintaining the communal and grassy areas.
"Basically, having sold all the properties, they have left the estate looking neglected and abandoned," said one householder.
"With Waitrose in situ, and adjoining the linear park, this was always a desirable area. But with two large skips left on what was to be landscaped grass, a play area that is unusable, and grass and weeds flourishing across roads and footpaths, we are ashamed to invite people to our homes," she added.
A group comprising dozens of residents signed a petition and sent it to Crest Nicholson, urging them to complete and maintain the landscaping of the estate and deal with snags unrectified in several new properties. But their plea fell upon deaf ears, they say.
"Crest Nicholson has been ignoring pleas from individuals, and has now ignored our combined petition. We are endeavoring to stay polite and cordial, but now feel turning to the media is our only option. We have the support of our Parish Council and MK Council in this matter," said a spokesperson for the group.
"Currently much of Oakgrove is looking neglected and uncared for. Grass verges have been left to grow to above
waist level in many places, obscuring road signs. Play and leisure areas are unusable. Weeds have proliferated in gutters and between paving slabs," she added.
"Some residents have tended to these themselves, but with many apartment blocks, this is not possible for all areas to be maintained by individuals.
"MK Council is not able to take responsibility until Crest Nicholson has completed contractural duties."
The spokesman added: "Residents are tired of being ignored and are determined to get this problem dealt with.
The Citizen contact Crest Nicholson to relay the residents' concerns.
Three days later grass cutters were out on the estate, mowing the long grass.
A Crest Nicholson spokesperson said: “We apologise to the residents for the delay in finalising the landscape and maintaining the completed area at Oakgrove. We have since completed the preliminary works on site and are in the final stages of onboarding a contractor to support with regular maintenance of the landscaping services at the development.”
Residents are now hoping the promise will be kept. Their spokesperson said: "There is a long way to go yet before the estate is completed to acceptable standards."