MONMOUTHSHIRE County Council has been accused of treating a housing estate on the outskirts of Monmouth as a “private village” by frustrated residents who feel “neglected”.
King’s Wood Gate, built by developer David Wilson Homes, is still not sufficiently linked up – an issue residents claim the council has seemingly “lost all interest in resolving”.
There are long-standing concerns about the lack of safe and sustainable access travel routes, with questions over why Section 106 funding provided by the developer was not used on infrastructure to properly connect the estate to Monmouth town centre.
A temporary matting path across the meadow linking King’s Wood Gate to Wonastow Road Industrial Estate is gradually sinking and does not stand up well to inclement weather or soggy ground.
Despite repeated requests, there is no safe pedestrian crossing in the industrial estate nor on the busy Link Road at the Wonastow Road junction.
While a footpath from the industrial estate to Kings Fee has now been surfaced with tarmac, it is still wedged between metal fencing on both sides and the newly installed low-level lighting does not work. The council instead appears to be focussing on traffic management proposals at the Monmouth town end of the footpath.
Monmouth MP David Davies, who first visited King’s Wood Gate in August 2019 to walk the routes, said he was disappointed with the poor progress made.
He has met again with resident Chris Baber and Charles Emes, secretary of King’s Wood Gate Residents’ Association, to discuss local frustration.
Mr Davies said: “Residents have been given the overriding impression that the council is reluctant to help resolve these issues, which has left them stuck in no-man’s land.
“There are mobility scooter users living on the estate, as well as families with children in pushchairs. The temporary path over the fields is simply no good, especially when it is wet and muddy.
“If the council doesn’t want to turn this into a proper public footpath, then the priority should be improving the Link Road crossing point and looking at safe pedestrian access through the industrial estate. There has got to be a solution here somewhere.”
Mr Davies said he would be writing to Monmouthshire County Council to seek further improvements.
Mr Baber added: “It does feel as though the council treats King’s Wood Gate as a private village, not eligible for any support, and so I must question why should I continue to pay a full amount of council tax when not benefitting from all available services and support?
“Additionally, the council appears reluctant to assist the needs of any residents at King’s Wood Gate. During the course of last winter, the tarmac footpath from the King’s Wood Gate sustainable drainage system (SuDS) to Wonastow Road was obstructed by a large branch fallen from an oak tree.
“I reported this to Monmouthshire County Council and was told “it is not on council land so wouldn’t be dealt with”, which I think is appalling when you consider a large number of people who don’t live at King’s Wood Gate continually use the path and SuDS for leisure walking.
“All we are asking is that the council gives us something. Either a proper footpath or a safe main access route along Wonastow Road with streetlights and an improved Link Road crossing point.”