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Residents’ anger as estate revamp stalls
FED-up residents fear their living hell on the Five Links estate in Basildon will go on after redevelopment plans stalled yet again.
The £27million revamp of the estate first got under way in 1996, but Swan Housing has admitted it won’t be able to complete the project this year.
The housing association has also acknowledged its landmark building of 60 flats may not be built at all, after a lack of interest in buying homes there saw the plans put on hold.
Residents claim they have been living next door to a building site for more than ten years with noise around the clock, mess, rat infestations and the constant uncertainty over whether their lives will ever return to normal.
Moira Brock, 62, said life has been so bad she would happily sell up and move out if she could be sure she wouldn’t be out of pocket from any sale.
She said: “It’s like a living hell. I’m absolutely fed up with the whole thing. “Swan Housing has shown a total disregard for the residents and it’s just been horrible. It’s like living on a building site and there is nothing we can do about it.
“The whole area is like a building site and I have just 8ft from my back garden wall.”
In March the Echo reported the final phase of the redevelopment, which included plans for 186 homes, was back on track after it had stalled for a year due to a lack of funding.
At the time Swan Housing said the final part of the development would be finished by this year. It also said work would get under way soon on the flats on the corner of Laindon Link and Hatterill, but these have been shelved.
However, a spokesman for Swan Housing some of the planned homes would still be finished by the end of this year. He added: “Around 111 of these homes are on target and due to be completed by the end of 2012 with two pending garage buyouts.
“However, the remainder, including 40 homes for private sale and 20 for shared ownership units included as part of a planned landmark building, are to be put on hold due to a lack of demand for the private sale element of this part of the scheme.”
The revamp of Five Links was made up of three phases and has seen 385 homes bulldozed to make way for 483 new ones.