Felixstowe: Questions demanded over future of sheltered housing complex

COMMUNITY leaders are today demanding answers over the future of a Felixstowe sheltered complex which is set to be torn down, at a time when people desperately need homes.

Workmen first moved on to the site of Conford House in Exmoor Road in May – but homeowners in the area claim little work has taken place since then.

Mayor Mike Deacon hit out over the demolition and said a top-level meeting is due to be held with the owners of Flagship Housing, which wants to create bungalows on the site, next week.

“We have a lot of questions and we will be seeking some answers. It’s an absolute disgrace that this complex is to be knocked down when it could have been used for temporary accommodation until a plan is in place to replace it,” he said.

“The town council was told they were going to demolish the place with replacement buildings built, but no date was given so that could be sometime never.

“I don’t know when the demolition is even going to be completed.”

People living around the Conford House complex have voiced concern at the state of the site and want to know when it will be bulldozed.

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They claim the buildings are rife with rats and a health hazard. One homeowner, who did not wish to be named, said: “They said they were going to do it shortly, but when is shortly?

“It’s terrible really and there are rats there. It definitely needs looking into.”

While the 22 flats at the site might have been unsuitable, Mr Deacon felt the seven bungalows within the 1.3-acre complex in Exmoor Road could have been brought back into use.

Officials at Flagship said improving standards of care and support meant the site, which was first built in the 1960s, no longer met the needs of modern residents and was deemed not fit for purpose.

Flagship is aiming to create 14 bungalows for the elderly, with six specifically for wheelchair-bound people.

Mark Palmer, Director of Assets & Sustainability at Flagship added: “We have been unfortunate to have incurred the delays to date regarding service disconnections. However, they are a vital part of work to be completed before demolitions can commence.

“Therefore, while we share the frustrations of nearby residents with these delays, we are now confident that the demolitions will commence shortly, marking an exciting step along the path to redevelopment of the site.”

? Do you live near the site? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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