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Council Hits Developer with Breach of Condition Notice

Cotswold District Council (CDC) has hit a housing developer with a legal notice for a breach of conditions.

The council alleged that the developer had allowed new homes in Fairford to be occupied before the water board completed a drainage scheme.

The Fairford Gate Estate, which consists of 124 homes and is located off Cirencester Road, has 11 homes occupied already. Developer Bloor Homes insisted that no rules were broken.

A CDC spokesman said that the housing application had been approved by the planning committee on the condition that a drainage scheme for foul and surface water be submitted before work began and completed before any homes were occupied. The council asserted that Bloor did not stick to the agreement.

The spokesman added that while a temporary solution for the drainage had been implemented by the developer, there was an obvious breach of the condition, so the notice was issued on July 25.

 

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Cotswold District Council issued the breach of condition notice after learning that the town council had occupied several homes in June.

CDC member of Fairford, Cllr Sue Coakley, told a town council meeting on August 9 that the houses were not ready for habitation because the foul drainage system had not been completed.

Cllr Coakley said she felt sorry for the people who moved into those properties only to discover that all facilities were not available as expected. She claimed that Bloor Homes should not have allowed it to happen, hence the enforcement action.

A Bloor Homes spokesman defended to developer’s decision to allow residents to move in. He said that after several meetings with Thames Water (TW) the complete drainage details were submitted to CDC in November 2015. Since then, all reasonable measures were taken to deliver the proper drainage infrastructure at the Fairford development.

The spokesman added that Bloor Homes had since arranged to manage foul and surface water on site to prevent harm or disturbance to the residents and the environment.

Several homes across Fairford were flooded one afternoon last June when what one forecaster described as “a month’s rain” fell in two hours. The incident resurrected ongoing questions about the efficacy of the town’s drainage system.

At the time, Thames Water publicly announced that a drainage scheme was being undertaken and would run until the end of next year. A spokesman said that surveys and risk assessments would be carried out, which would include reviewing new developments and determining the best way to tackle certain issues.

TW confirmed that it was working with Gloucestershire Highways, the local flood authority, to find a solution to the problem.  The water authority confirmed that it worked closely with planning authorities and developers to evaluate the possible impact of new property construction on the sewer infrastructure and network.

A TW spokesperson recently confirmed that it was in ongoing talks with Bloor Homes about its work on the Fairford development.

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