Clwyd West AM Darren Millar supported calls for a task force to be established to address the scourge of unadopted roads across Wales during a Senedd debate this week, citing Sandy Cove in Kinmel Bay as an area which needs support.
During Wednesday’s debate on Unadopted Roads, Darren described the situation at Sandy Cove as “intolerable” and called for something to be done about it.
“Like every Assembly Member and constituency, I also have estates with unadopted roads in my own area, the most prominent of which is Sandy Cove, an estate of 250 bungalows that were built in the 1930s as holiday homes for wealthy people from around the UK to come and enjoy some time by the seaside. Unfortunately, over a period of time, those homes have became permanent residences and the company that built the estate folded leaving a legacy of all of roads that are now, are in a very, very poor state of repair.
“There's a public health issue here, because many people who live on that estate are people with mobility problems and chronic illnesses, and the condition of those roads, the lack of pavements, the lack of drainage, the lack of even street lighting on those roads, is exacerbating their health problems, causing them anxiety, and leaving many trapped in their homes and socially isolated.
“The local authority and others have tried to do what they can to support those residents. They've tried to look at what the cost of bringing those roads up to an adoptable standard might be, and the latest estimate is that it would be around £3 million, which is obviously a significant sum of money for 250 home owners to be able to find. In fact, it's nigh on impossible for them to raise that sort of sum in order to get those roads up to an adoptable standard.
“Back in 2011, the then Environment Minister took a very brave decision to use some powers that she had under the Water Act 2003 to transfer private sewers and lateral drains into the water system, which is of course the responsibility of Welsh Water here. So, they were all basically adopted. I think what we need is that sort of approach, frankly, with all of these historic unadopted roads, in order that we can solve this problem once and for all. Then, we need to change the planning system to make it a requirement that if an estate is going to be built, it must have roads built to adoptable standards.
“In addition, we need a task force to set out a priority list of which areas might need to be addressed first, because I suspect very much that the Sandy Cove estate would be right at the top of that list, for the reasons that I've outlined today.”