Chipperfield residents have described the years of “living hell” they have endured since the development of three dwellings on their road.
KINGSnews visited a group of Alexandra Road residents on November 13, and were met with stacks of documents, images, and stories detailing the “nightmare” that has been the last four years.
The residents wished to remain anonymous in the wake of an alleged pattern of intimidation from the developers, Orchard Alexandra Ltd.
Permission for the construction of three new detached dwellings was granted in February 2020.
The residents recall having open dialogue with the developer and were even able to point to an email they received which made assurances that “the building work will be out of sight”. It also stated that there will be “no heavy trucks” using the road, and that they fully plan to “resurface the whole street in the same style” after the development was complete.
These reassurances are nothing but a distant memory to the residents now.
Tears were shed as the residents detailed how their road has been destroyed and the tight-knit community terrorised. They have detailed “a stream of vehicles including low loaders, 35-tonne lorries, diggers and a plethora of speeding vans” coursing up and down the private road and destroying the road surface. These vehicles are often said to travel at great speeds and the drivers have allegedly ignored pleas to slow down. With children living on the road, there is fear that the situation is an accident waiting to happen.
The compacted road has since been prone to serious and protracted flooding, exacerbated by the developers raising the level of the driveway to the new homes. This in turn is acting as a ‘dam’, causing a build-up of rainfall.
The ground outside the residents’ houses has been dug up more than five times, allegedly often without any warning. The residents also allege that power was twice cut to houses as the result of incompetency, and that proper protocol was not followed, resulting in one of the workers being injured.
One elderly neighbour, who is in poor health and is dependent on his wife for care, was allegedly unable to get to hospital because of the road being torn apart outside their house. A plank was said to have been thrown down so they could cross after complaints were made.
They also described how the electric gate to the new houses doesn’t open automatically, as was promised. In the tight road, vehicles travelling to the new development cannot gain access and struggle to turn around. This often forces them to reverse onto the main road, which is both dangerous and contrary to Highways Agency’s stipulation.
One resident said: “We cannot describe the stress on the residents; it’s brought many of us to absolute breaking point.
“They [the developer] bully and scare; three or four times, the police have been here. They intimidate and give false promises and never follow through.
“If there was an emergency, you wouldn’t be able to get an ambulance or fire engine up here.
“Some will say, ‘oh, what are you moaning about?’, but when you’re living in it for years, it really affects people’s mental health.”
Another resident said: “Trouble is we’re dealing with people who really don’t care. The standard response is always ‘take me to court’.”
Discussing Dacorum Borough Council (DBC), one resident said: “Negligent is the kindest word we could use. They say, ‘it’s a private road, it’s not our problem’, but they were very happy to give the developers permission for those houses!”
DBC and Orchard Alexandra Ltd have been contacted for comment.