A DARLINGTON man has warned lives are being put 'at risk' after a footpath linking residents from a newly-built housing estate to a nearby village was left as a grass verge.

Greg Dawson, who lives on the Hurworth Hall Farm estate in Hurworth, accused Miller Homes and Darlington Borough Council of placing people at risk from falling onto a 'dangerous' road.

But Miller Homes and Darlington Borough Council say discussions are continuing to find a 'suitable resolution' for Mr Dawson and affected residents at Hurworth Hall Farm.

Speaking to The Northern Echo, Mr Dawson said the situation was made worse by a lack of lighting at night, and overgrown hedgerow.

He said: "At the moment it's not safe - there are people coming into the village along this road, they are slowing down from 50mph and 60mph speeds.

"It’s just a grass verge, hedgerow is overgrown, there’s no curb, it’s like Brands Hatch that road. It’s just very dangerous with kids."

The Northern Echo: The grass verge at the estate The grass verge at the estate

The housing estate, which has a mix of three and five bed houses up for sale between £212,000 and £424,000, is located off Roundhill Road near Hurworth Village.

Mr Dawson said: "A lot of people go everywhere in their car but having a six-year-old son that we walk to school, If I wanted to take the dog and he wanted to ride his bike, then that becomes a task."

He said Miller Homes had agreed to install the path before moving in on June 1, but when questioning why it had not been installed, he was provided with different answers and no solution.

He said: "Miller said they would be doing this in March but then everything kicked off with coronavirus, we thought fine, it will be put back.

"But there’s has been no definitive answer on when this will be done. They are just passing the buck and not doing anything proactive."

However, Miller Homes said it could not progress with the installation of the footpath because Darlington Borough Council had not yet completed nearby roadworks.

A spokesperson for the house builder said: “As part of the approved planning permission for the development we entered into an agreement which saw us pay a financial contribution to Darlington Borough Council to complete traffic calming works on Roundhill Road.

"These works were due to be completed by June 2019, following which we would undertake work on the footpath.

“We have had various meetings with Darlington Borough Council regarding the delay in completing the aspects of the works they have responsibility for and have offered alternatives which would allow us to progress with the footpath. 

"Unfortunately these suggestions have been rejected by the Council meaning we are currently unable to move forward with works to the footpath.

“We wish to apologise for any inconvenience this is causing our customers and reassure them that we are continuing to work with Darlington Borough Council to help resolve this matter.”

Darlington Borough Council said it remained in 'further discussions' with Miller Homes to find a solution for residents on the estate. 

Councillor Andy Keir, cabinet member for local services at Darlington Borough Council, said: “Officers have offered a solution to Miller homes that they employ their own contractor to carry out the works and enter into the necessary Highways Legal Agreements, as other house builders manage.

"However they have stated that they would not entertain this option.

“We are therefore in further discussions with Miller Homes to find a suitable resolution.”