DIVERSIONS had to be put in place while a gas leak in Lower Howsell Road was dealt with.

And although gas company Cadent says the cause of the leak has not been pinpointed, county councillor Paul Tuthill has claimed contractors building a new 110-home estate for developer Bellway might have helped cause it.

Cllr Tuthill said: “ The way in which this development has been managed has caused concerns for neighbours. Recently Lower Howsell Road was subject to traffic management as the road has been altered for access and services to be fitted by Bellway’s contractors. No sooner had they finished work than several gas leaks were found in the main that runs in the centre of the road. This necessitated Cadent to dig up the road; this caused a complete blockage and a significant detour for residents living beyond the New Inn.

“I shall be taking up the issue of why there had to be a 24-hour block on cars even though there was no work done at night.”

A Cadent spokesman said: “Cadent responded to reports of a smell of gas. We investigated and found several leaks on a gas main under the road. We had to close the road while we fixed the leaks because the position of the gas main and the width of the road meant there wasn’t enough room to maintain a safe distance between our staff and drivers. A seven-minute diversion route was put into place. It isn’t always possible to pinpoint the exact cause of a leak. Sometimes problems result from years of wear and tear on a pipe. We would like to thank local residents for their patience.”

Bellway has been contacted for comment.