DEVELOPERS have been accused of putting lives at risk after a series of road accidents.

Persimmon Homes, which is building 2,500 homes on the former Grove Airfield, has been warned that it needs to make roads cleaner following at least four accidents in the area in three months.

Residents, councillors and victims of crashes have blasted the company for its role in creating an 'accident hotspot' due to muddy roads.

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Locals say they have also seen other near-misses in the area around Denchworth Road and Newlands Drive.

Elliann Edwards, 24, crashed her car into a ditch in November on a road that was 'fine' prior to work beginning.

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The mechanical engineer, who drives around the area several times every day, said: "I was going around the bend, it's not particularly sharp, and I just completely lost the car.

"Persimmon are risking so many lives. If the oncoming lorry hadn't stopped or there had been a tree, my crash could have been fatal and they just don't seem bothered by it."

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She added: "I just want them to clean it before more people get hurt. Since mine, so many people have told me that they lost control.

"It needs to be cleaned constantly and Persimmon to take full responsibility, but if it's left down to them nothing will happen."

Her accident came within days of a motorcyclist coming off his bike, and at least two other accidents happened in January – with one cyclist suffering a broken hip.

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Following her crash, Persimmon installed 'wheel washing' equipment in the road, but residents say roads have remained muddy.

Oxfordshire county councillors for Wantage and Grove Jane Hanna and Jenny Hannaby have been lobbying Persimmon over the issue.

Mrs Hanna even warned that the site could be 'shut down' if changes are not made.

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She said it was 'tragic' that wheel washing equipment was not installed before construction began and that it was later taken - though it has since returned. Road sweepers have also been in use but Mrs Hanna said some construction vehicles had not used the required routes.

She added: "Persimmon need to urgently check that they have enough equipment at all access points to their site and ensure that it is used. Powers do exist to close the development down and Persimmon have been warned."

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Mrs Hannaby said Government have been 'constantly watering down planning conditions', adding: "Enforcement powers have suffered from this interference. It is essential that wording for planning conditions is strengthened, especially the construction management transport plan which covers the mud issues and vehicle routing from Newlands Drive, which Grove residents have had to endure.

"Strong enforcement is key to ensuring developers adhere to planning conditions."

Residents on a Wantage and Grove Facebook group called the roads a 'death trap' and said the company was trying to 'get away with' doing as little as possible over the 'lethal' roads.

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Others defended the developers and said traffic light issues may have contributed to some accidents.

A spokesperson from Persimmon Homes Wessex said: “We take the cleanliness of our developments very seriously and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“We have been working closely with the local authorities and they are satisfied that the appropriate measures are in place to reduce the mud on the roads.

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“The roads are being monitored and reviewed daily by our site management team and we are sweeping them on a regular basis to ensure that disruption is minimised at Wellington Gate.”

John Trantor, the chair of Cycling UK Wantage, said his group was 'already concerned' prior to a cyclist's crash on January 14.

The Grove resident, 57, explained: "My concern is that we don't see experienced cycling club members falling off randomly. It just seems too much of a coincidence for it to be anything else.

"I think the problem is they tend to be cleaning at the end of the working day but during the day there is a lot of mud lying around."

Julie Mabberley, from the Wantage and Grove Campaign Group, said: "We understand that after a great deal of prompting and complaints, Persimmon have now installed wheel washing facilities to stop us all using our wellington boots and skidding all over the road.

"Let's just hope they use it."