CONCERNS have been raised over the safety of a recently-built roundabout which will serve a new retirement village.

Businessman Tom Howson, who lives close to the development at Leven Bank, near Yarm, commissioned a report which raised concerns about cyclist and pedestrian safety.

The report, by consultants Local Transport Projects (LTP), also suggested there were risks from the roundabout being close to nearby residential property entrances – including Mr Howson’s.

But a Stockton Borough Council spokesman said: “Two independent road safety audits have been carried out and have looked at all aspects of the roundabout’s design and construction.

“There are no outstanding safety concerns arising from either of the audit reports.”

The new three-exit roundabout is to serve Mount Leven Farm, a large US-style retirement village incorporating 332 homes and an 80-bedroom care home.

Stockton council is understood to have offered Mr Howson a fourth leg for his approved country club development on his own land on the other side of the A1044, but he declined.

But he is understood to have felt he was “held to ransom” as the roundabout initially needed to incorporate his land and claims he was told his development could only go ahead if he agreed to provide it.

The council went ahead without his land, which Mr Howson claims meant there was a different roundabout built to the one approved by the planning committee.

The report by LTP says the initial roundabout layout included a 1.2m wide off-road cycle lane, but this has not been built, meaning cyclists have to remain on the road.

The report suggested that cyclists being overtaken by motorists had been an issue in the past on the A1044, and expressed concerned there could be an increase in “side-swipe” accidents with the new roundabout.

Mr Howson added: “I don’t want it to get to the stage where there has to be a serious accident to prove me right on this.

“I have offered to meet personally with the chief executive of the council on several occasions but he has declined.”