Published: 06:00, 01 December 2019
Residents on a new housing estate are accusing a developer of literally leaving them in the dark by failing to install street lighting.
Customers of Persimmon Homes at Aylesham, near Canterbury, say it is dangerous to navigate the dark roads and pathways.
And they complain they were not warned it would be the case prior to buying their properties.
More than 80 residents have signed a petition - but hundreds of homes built during phase one and two of the Aylesham Garden Village development are thought to be affected.
Resident Kunal Patel said: “It’s completely unacceptable. Now that the nights have drawn in, it’s pitch black in many streets.
“My daughter tripped recently in the dark and cut her knee. It’s actually not safe for families.”
The digital marketeer added: “Persimmon are saying it’s down to the management company, so effectively trying to pass the cost on to us when it should have been done as part of the development.”
Another resident, who did not want to be named, added: “Persimmon have claimed that they had not installed street lamps to ‘reduce light pollution’.
“It’s a nonsense and just about making more profit for the company and we feel let down.”
Residents pay £208 to a management company for Persimmon on top of their council tax.
Dover district councillor for Aylesham, Linda Keen, said: “It just beggars belief because the place is pitch black, which is even worse at this time of year.
“It’s all because these are unadopted roads and from what I can see from the planning agreements, they are not obliged to provide street lighting and have done nothing illegal.
“But residents would naturally assume that a new estate with hundreds of homes would have street lighting and not have to check for that in the planning details.
"I hope Persimmon reconsider their decision in view of the widespread local outrage and incredulity about this ‘blackout’. They have a moral duty to the residents instead of maximising their profits.”
She has asked council officers to investigate and speak to Persimmon bosses about the issue.
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes South East said the development had been built in accordance with approved planning consents "which did not include street lighting to any of the private roadways."
They added: “However, we have recently been made aware of concerns raised by the residents and we are continuing to work with Dover District Council to find a solution.”
Persimmon have previously been criticised for failing to install fire safety barriers at some homes at the estate.
More by this authorGerry Warren