One in five waterfront homes unoccupied

A STAGGERING one in five homes on Ipswich Waterfront is sitting empty, it can be revealed today.

A STAGGERING one in five homes on Ipswich Waterfront is sitting empty, it can be revealed today.

The figure equates to 347 of a total of 1,770 completed properties near the docks.

It has also emerged that across all Waterfront wards there are more empty homes (20pc) than owner-occupied properties (18pc).

Out of the remaining homes, rented accommodation makes up 60pc and second homes make up 1pc.

Across Ipswich as a whole the figure of empty properties runs at 3.7pc - 2,108 out of a total of 57,700 domestic properties.

The large number of empty homes on Ipswich Waterfront could be set to swell further in the near future once two major developments on the Waterfront - Cranfield Mill and Regatta Quay - are completed.

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Due to the economic downturn people are finding it more difficult to take mortgages out, with large deposits often required.

Meanwhile, repossessions are on the rise prompting fears the number of empty properties could rocket further.

Liz Harsant, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “There's a problem on the Waterfront with properties being empty.

“It's the recession and I'm not quite sure what we are going to do about it.

“I can see students being put into developments but I'm worried whether there are as many students as we thought there were going to be.

“I don't see any sign of this picking up in the near future.”

The Waterfront housing statistics were collated by Ipswich Borough Council with information taken from the council tax database.

There are 64 streets in the area covered by three council wards - Holywells, Bridge and Alexandra.

n. What should be done about the empty home situation? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk