Residents win fight to finish King’s Lynn estate

Sir Henry Bellingham MP visits Millfields Close to mark the final completion of the work to fully adopt Millfields Close after the estate was left unfinished by the developer. LtoR - Former Borough and County Cllr Jean Mickleburgh, Tresurer of residents association Graham Unger, Sir Henry Bellingham MP, Borough Mayor David Whitby, Leader of the Council Brian Long, Chairman of the residents committee Ron Mortimer and Borough Cllr Tom Smith. ANL-160108-190912009
Sir Henry Bellingham MP visits Millfields Close to mark the final completion of the work to fully adopt Millfields Close after the estate was left unfinished by the developer. LtoR - Former Borough and County Cllr Jean Mickleburgh, Tresurer of residents association Graham Unger, Sir Henry Bellingham MP, Borough Mayor David Whitby, Leader of the Council Brian Long, Chairman of the residents committee Ron Mortimer and Borough Cllr Tom Smith. ANL-160108-190912009
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Residents of a Gaywood estate have been celebrating after years of struggle to complete works left when the developer folded were completed.

But campaigners say urgent action is needed to ensure what happened to the residents of Millfields doesn’t happen anywhere else.

Local representatives joined residents on Monday to celebrate the formal adoption of the road by Norfolk County Council, meaning they are now responsible for its maintenance.

But getting to that point required residents to dig into their own pockets to fund works including road and pavement surfacing, fencing and drainage worth £250,000.

Residents’ association chairman Ron Mortimer said one aspect of the problem was that planning authorities cannot legally force building firms to ensure infrastructure was completed properly before residents move in.

He is now campaigning for councils to be given extra powers to make developers complete the projects fully.

And he is also calling for a compulsory system to be introduced in which prospective buyers of homes on new developments put money aside to cover situations of this kind if they occur.

A bill is set to go before Parliament next month and Mr Mortimer said: “We have opened a can of worms here.

“If we are successful, we would have turned round a big problem for planning departments around the country.”

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said the completion of the project was testament to the “tremendous” efforts of Mr Mortimer and his committee colleagues.

He said: “We now have a very happy and relieved community who can carry on their lives with peace of mind.”