Ipswich: Residents forced to live next to building site call for improvements

IPSWICH: A group of residents forced to live next to a building site for the past three years after the recession halted a proposed development today called for action to be taken.

Dozens of families living on Griffin Wharf estate, off Hawes Street, moved into the site when the first units of social housing were completed in 2008.

Plans for the area promised a huge hotel and conference centre, luxury waterfront apartments, a doctors’ surgery and a new play area.

But when the recession forced a temporary halt to development, residents were left in limbo – and with a huge construction site just yards from their front doors.

There may be hope on the horizon though, with developers Persimmon Homes said today they are working to revise their proposals and hope to start work again at the site later this year.

Dee Henry, who moved into her Wherry Housing-owned property in February 2008, said: “It was still a building site at the time we moved in, but we had been told it would be worked on.

“I don’t expect it to be completed any time soon but we just want a few little touches to tidy it up for the people who already live here.

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“We used to be able to see the water but now all we can see are building works. At the moment, it looks disgusting.”

The 46-year-old added: “All we’ve asked is that they make it presentable. The plans and the ideas are brilliant, but I think three years is a bit too long to wait.”

Residents are hoping to put up a fence to separate them from the construction works and decorate it with street art.

Borough councillor Bryony Rudkin said: “It’s disruptive and it’s immensely disappointing compared to the hopes and expectations the residents had, and still have. There’s still huge potential there but it’s just the speed at which it’s being achieved that is frustrating.”

Duncan Jackson, managing director for Persimmon Homes Essex said: “Due to the turbulent market conditions of recent months, the Persimmon Homes Griffin Wharf development has experienced a delay in activity.

“At present, we are working hard to revise our proposals and hope to re-commence work on site later this year. We would like to thank the community and our site neighbours for their patience at this time as we work towards a resolution. We will provide the community with an update on our proposals as soon as possible.”

n Have you been affected by this problem? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.