The estate that Barratt and Bovis forgot

By Julia Evans, Shropshire Councillor for Radbrook, Shrewsbury.

In 2014, planning was approved for the Bowbrook Meadows and Darwins Walk estates. Today in 2022, nearly 8 years later and over a year since the last house was occupied, the estate is still waiting completion. A month after the election, I walked through Squinter Pip Way and took photos of the lumpy, rough roads and pavements, the builders toilet and left over equipment opposite Meadowbout Way and the overgrown wasteland that should have been the wildlife-friendly landscaping that had been promised – including the nature walks completed on the west side but not on the east with ‘the bridge to nowhere’.

Unfinished works at Bowbrook MeadowsWork was recommenced in August last year but only initially two people working to complete kerbing. After a resident wrote directly to the CEO of Bovis and I had sent several emails to managers at Barratt, hedges were cut and two more workers appeared. Progress has been made but it is a very painfully slow progression. There was an apology to all residents of Bowbrook Meadows from Barratt as follows:

Good Afternoon Ms Evans

I acknowledge receipt of your enquiry and, firstly, we do have to apologise to residents for the delays on our estates completion works at Bowbrook Meadows, this has been due to many various factors.

A landscaping company has been tendered and work should begin soon.

This has caused misery for many residents and in one case, an accident. This has been a point of discussion on Social media several times ( thank you to a resident for the title of this piece). After further emails and different Managers at Barratt each time, I wrote to the Shropshire Star – no reply. I then reported, with advice from an Enforcement Officer (with thanks), Barratt and Bovis to the Planning Enforcement Team and hoping this may result with a Completion Notice.

Meanwhile I have asked for a CIL figure (Community Infrastructure Levy) and will be asking residents what they would like to see this spent on – some will be on things such as bus shelters, bins, salt bins as soon as the Council takes over responsibility.

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