Developers cover up exposed manholes in Fairfield Park

MANHOLES which have seen two children and one animal fall down them have been covered up or fenced off.

Workmen from estate developers PJ Livesy visited Fairfield Park estate on Friday to cover the manholes after the Comet reported that a toddler had fallen down an open drain two weeks ago while out walking.

Residents in the area have expressed anger at the lack of responsibility and time taken over the situation.

Cllr Barry Dack of Stotfold Town Council approached the Comet about the uncapped drains in September.

At the time he said: “The developers have left the site and are saying it is not their responsibility, Central Beds Council are saying it is not theirs and we are left with so many things that are wrong and nobody wants to take responsibility for them.”

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Speaking of the covering of the manholes Cllr Dack said: “It is a victory. Finally someone has been and covered the drains, there is now better, secure fencing round the holes so we are very pleased.”

Jacqueline Smith who lives in Fairfield Hall witnessed the incident with the toddler two weeks ago and had promised the mother she would do something about the situation.

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She said: “I was sorry the dear little boy fell down the hole and was upset to witness it but am happy that these two drains which are on the much used pathway from the hall across the cricket green are now covered and there will be no more accidents of this kind.

“I made a personal promise to the family of that little boy at the time to try and get something done so thankyou to those who put wheels in motion and to the Comet for being interested,” she added.

A spokesman for PJ Livesy said the manholes did not fall under their ownership.

The spokesman added: “We completed the site some years ago and we would have clearly been made aware of missing covers in these areas prior to them being taken over by their new owners, which we were not, so it is safe to assume they were not missing at that time.”

“When the missing covers were reported to us we requested a plan showing their position to ascertain ownership, however this was not forthcoming despite further requests,” the spokesman continued.

“As no individual was taking responsibility for the missing covers we took the decision, as responsible developers, to replace them at our cost and when ownership is identified to contra-charge the cost to the said owners. We have now replaced the covers and are looking into the ownership issue,” the spokesman said.

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