Housing development roads covered by bond

I refer to your article on unfinished developments, published on 25 May 2012 which confuses unadopted roads with unfinished roads in private housing developments across Northern Ireland.

You wrote that the Department for Regional Development would not foot a £300 million bill for unfinished roads in estates where developers had gone out of business and that homeowners will have to meet the cost themselves.

In fact, this position does not relate to housing development roads, but applies instead to other types of private roads and laneways, which were never planned or constructed to a standard that would allow them to become public roads.

Housing development roads are a very different situation. The majority of these are designed and built with the intention of being adopted into the public road network.

Housing development roads are covered by specific planning and construction legislation, including a requirement for developers to make financial provision for the completion of the roads, usually by taking out a bond that guarantees to pay the costs if the developer cannot complete the agreed work themselves.

When problems arise, the Department will initially negotiate with the developer or administrators to seek completion of the roads as per the original agreement. If that is not successful, the Department arranges for its own contractors to do the necessary work, and calls on the bond to pay the costs. In this way, neither homeowners nor the public purse has to pay for the completion of the housing development roads in such situations.

I hope this helps to clarify any confusion over the matter.

John Irvine

Roads Service Eastern Division Roads Manager