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Philip Evans


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AXMINSTER: No compensation for the unhappy Sector residents

Thursday, 06 March 2014

The companies involved with the closure of Sector Lane in Axminster will not entertain compensation claims, it has been reported.
Sector Lane residents were furious when the junction with Lyme Road was closed to vehicles to accommodate water system connection works for the Devonshire Homes housing development at the old football ground.
The closure meant a detour of five miles to get to other parts of Axminster, and residents were not impressed when work over-ran by about three weeks.
Axminster Town Council pledged to try to broker a meeting so residents could talk directly to South West Water and Devonshire Homes.
A meeting was arranged at short notice last week and the town council estimated that 30 to 40 residents turned up.
The media was not invited, but a resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “There was a meeting in the residents’ lounge of Valley View.
“Although heated at times, the meeting was constructive covering all residents’ complaints.
“All parties were told by the Mayor, Jeremy Walden, that planning and communication did not exist, and we understand this will not happen again.
“We were also told (by the companies) compensation for increased taxi fares/fuel will not be considered.”
South West Water referred to the town council statement*, but a spokesperson added: “Also, to make our position clear, South West Water was requisitioned under Section 4 –44 of the Water Industry Act 1991 to provide Devonshire Homes with a new water main to serve their development. 
“We were also served a notice under Section 185 of the Water Industry Act to divert the existing sewer for the new development.
“We had a legal duty under the Water Industry Act to deliver both these schemes, otherwise we could be liable for claims from the developer for lack of delivery and ultimately face prosecution.”
Devonshire Homes MD Steve Russell said it is vital that the town council and residents are kept informed about site development.
He explained: “Good communication with the council and residents is imperative.
“While we clearly placed too much confidence in other parties keeping the town informed on our behalf, we will renew our focus on two-way communication channels to keep everyone informed about progress at the site.”
u Axminster Town Council said a press statement would be issued following the meeting.
The statement had not been issued at the time of going to press.

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