Housing developer responds to concerns over 'war zone' Hitchin development

PUBLISHED: 16:10 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 17:29 03 April 2019

Damage caused to cars near the CALA Homes development in Lucas Lane. Picture: Hugh Palmer

Damage caused to cars near the CALA Homes development in Lucas Lane. Picture: Hugh Palmer

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A housing developer has responded to concerns after a number of cars were damage near a new development in Hitchin - with one resident describing it as a 'war zone'.

Damage caused to cars near the CALA Homes development in Lucas Lane. Picture: Hugh Palmer
Damage caused to cars near the CALA Homes development in Lucas Lane. Picture: Hugh Palmer

CALA Homes is building 27 new dwellings – known as Century Grove – in Lucas Lane, but construction vehicles are causing havoc according to resident Hugh Palmer, who lives in nearby Chalkdell Path.

“I think about six or eight cars have been damaged or written off so far and, for many of them, CALA refuse to take any kind of responsibility for the damage they have caused,” he said.

“The crashes have become a daily occurrence, with scrapes, bangs and full write-offs being reported.

“We are already seeing a direct increase in our car insurance premiums. This was once considered a safe environment, but it has now turned into something of a war zone.

Damage caused to cars near the CALA Homes development in Lucas Lane. Picture: Hugh Palmer
Damage caused to cars near the CALA Homes development in Lucas Lane. Picture: Hugh Palmer

“I’m sure the trucks are not directly owned by CALA but, as they are the ones building the new homes and – one assumes – reaping the vast rewards, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect them to take some kind of corporate responsibility for the misery they are causing.”

Responding to Hugh’s concerns, a spokeswoman from CALA Homes told the Comet: “We are aware that the roads around Oughton Head Way are often congested and as such we have worked closely with the local authority to agree a traffic management plan, which is designed to facilitate the safe movement of construction traffic around our site, and to safeguard pedestrians and road users in the area.

“CALA has not been made aware of any incident around our site involving a CALA vehicle and it is appropriate that any incidents involving third parties, such as suppliers and subcontractors completing deliveries, be handled by those parties and their insurers directly.

“We have reinforced to all of our suppliers and contractors the need to exercise the utmost care while using Oughton Head Way and to continue to access the site in accordance with the traffic management plan.”

Damage caused to cars near the CALA Homes development in Lucas Lane. Picture: Hugh Palmer
Damage caused to cars near the CALA Homes development in Lucas Lane. Picture: Hugh Palmer

Hugh also raised concerns about trees being cut down for the development, with CALA responding: “We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and we are committed to delivering our developments with as little disruption as possible to existing communities.”

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