Unfortunately, they are denying any responsibility for treating the roads and pavements and even claim that if they did then they might lay themselves open to legal action.
In their response, Elan claim that they are in the same position as local councils - not responsible for treating anythingother than major routes. I have pointed out that in areas where the council does not salt or grit, they do provide grit bins so that residents can treat footpaths and roads themselves. If Elan is in the same position as the council then surely they should be providing grit bins.
This issue arose because many local residents complained that they were effectively housebound because of the dangerous state of the roads and pavements in Kensey Valley Meadow. Some people had cancelled family Christmas visits and others were fearful of losing their job if they could not get their cars out of the estate.
The full response from Elan:
Dear Councillor Folkes
We refer to your e-mail of 24th December 2009 and having discussed your concerns with our management team, we respond as follows.
We understand the frustration of the residents, however unfortunately, clearing highways following the exceptional inclement weather is not deemed the responsibility of Local Authorities or Developers such as ourselves.
In the current economic climate, many Local Authorities do not have sufficient resources to grit minor roads and footpaths, and have made an assessment to only treat major roads. These limitations are equally reflected in the construction industry and as a result, treatment costs would be indeterminable in advance.
In addition, having assessed the wider circumstances, if attempts were made by this company to clear the roads with limited resources, we could potentially face civil claims for damage and injury through alleged incomplete treatment of slippery surfaces.
We have therefore made the decision not to treat surfaces on our developments for consistency of approach.
It therefore remains the Residents’ responsibility to clear unadopted highways as with adopted ones.
We have sympathy for the problems described in your e-mail, but in this instance we apologise that we are unable to provide the solution you imply.Kind regards
Customer Care Advisor