Tent row could be set for compromise

A BITTER row between OAPs and a housing association over a tent erected on a communal lawn looks set to be headed for a compromise today.The group of pensioners from Black Horse Lane, Ipswich, found themselves in hot water when they pitched in to buy a tent and erected it on the communal lawn of their sheltered housing complex.

A BITTER row between OAPs and a housing association over a tent erected on a communal lawn looks set to be headed for a compromise today.

The group of pensioners from Black Horse Lane, Ipswich, found themselves in hot water when they pitched in to buy a tent and erected it on the communal lawn of their sheltered housing complex.

Housing association chiefs said the tent presented a health and safety hazard and ordered it be removed but the pensioners claimed removing the canvas shelter would leave them with nowhere to socialise.

Now Hanover Housing Association has offered them a list of options which they hope will banish loneliness from their lives.


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Among the suggestions are an £8,000 summer house, regular meetings in a church hall or the opportunity to attend social gatherings at other sheltered complexes.

The association is surveying the residents on their preferred options but the summer house idea has emerged as the early favourite - all they need to work out now is how to pay for it.

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A spokesman for Hanover said: “Hanover has sent a questionnaire to all of the residents at the Black Horse Lane estate to see what type of social activities they would like to see developed.

“We have also held a meeting, attended by 50 per cent of residents to discuss possible options for communal activities which include a summerhouse robust enough and big enough for the majority of residents to enjoy.

“Over the last few weeks, the estate manager has invited residents to join in outings with residents from other estates but, there has not been a lot of interest.

“We have also offered to help apply for lottery and other funds, working closely with residents on the estate.”

Jimmy Evans, the 74-year-old who organised the purchase of the tent, said: “I like the idea of the summer house.

“I'm sure it's quite a good idea. It's not a lot of money today.”

Fellow Black Horse Lane resident Eileen Craven, 79, also supported the idea but said raising £8,000 would not be easy.

She said: “It takes a lot of effort to raise £8,000. I would help but I don't know how we could help.”

But the idea doesn't have the support of all the residents. John Finch, 63, who opposed the tent when it was in place, said: “We're not interested in it. The rest of us don't want to know.

“I'm not bothered either way if they build the summer house. If they want to do it they can as long as it doesn't cost me any money.”

Weblink: www.hanover.org.uk

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