A RESIDENT is calling for something to be done about an unlit path in a housing estate.

Dad Graham Howe, of George Grieve Way, is calling for East Lothian Council to take ownership of the path, which runs past a pond and is used by people from the Windygoul estate.

When he contacted the council to ask why there were no street lights on the path, he was told his house was on an unadopted part of the estate.

He said: “No one in their right mind would buy an unadopted house in Tranent.”

Mr Howe contacted Walker Group, which built his home, asking it to contribute towards the estimated £4,500 needed to put three street lights along the unlit section of the path but said he was directed to factors Greenbelt.

Greenbelt said it could not put street lights on the path as someone would have to take legal responsibility for them. It advises residents to use another route in the winter.

Mr Howe said: “Someone has to take ownership. I don’t think £4,500 is too much to ask to keep our children safe, they have to use torches to go along that path, which many of them use going to school and the shops.”

Mr Howe and his family moved in two years ago but he said he had no idea it was on an unadopted street. His lawyers have produced a property enquiry certificate which states the road and footpath are adopted, but Mr Howe said the council had told him the certificate was wrong.

A council spokesperson said: “This path is ‘unadopted’, which means the responsibility for maintaining these areas lies with the development’s factor.

“The occupants of the development will pay a fee to have non-adopted areas maintained and provision of lighting would have to be discussed between these residents and the factoring company.

“The council has a limited budget to maintain lighting on public roads and footways and has no provision to supply lighting in private areas.”

Greenbelt said it had confirmed to Mr Howe that while it manages the path it has no ownership over existing lighting.

A spokesman said: “The path is a secondary thoroughfare and, as such, was not designated for lighting by the developer.

“The landscape and layout of the path’s surroundings were passed to Greenbelt without the requirement for street lighting.

“As much as we would like to help Mr Howe with his request, it is simply not possible to install new lighting on his behalf: who would take legal responsibility for the installation, maintenance and safety of this lighting and who would pay for this and the power costs?

“Local residents do show common sense in using only lit paths in the winter evenings – we would, however, urge parents to encourage youngsters not to choose secondary paths as shortcuts as they were never originally designed to be used in the hours of darkness.

“We remain happy to consider any proposals Mr Howe may wish to put forward.”

A Walker Homes spokeswoman said the company had been in touch with the complainant on a number of occasions.

She added: “The lighting arrangement for the estate was approved by the local authority and because it was a private drive there was no requirement for street lighting to be installed in this part of the development.

“We would not return to a development after a decade to install further lighting when it was compliant with legislation at the time it was built.”