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We feel like we are left in limbo say Craylands residents
THE huge £250million project to re-develop the Craylands Estate in Basildon has been left in limbo.
Fed up residents say they are at the “end of their tether” because dozens of properties have been boarded up and left empty with no visible progress taking place.
Now it’s emerged the two big players in the scheme are at odds over the future of the project.
Swan Housing is still trying to buy up properties to make way for new homes, while the Homes and Communities Agency said there was a lack of interest from private buyers moving on to the estate.
The regeneration scheme hopes to create new homes for people living there, but many are having to stay put.
Jane Rattu, 42, of Lincoln Road, who has lived on the estate for 23 years, said: “We have just been left in the dark and don’t know what is going on.
“I was told I was meant to have moved three years ago and now I have been told we will not be moving for another two years. We are just at the end of our tether with the situation.”
It is the latest building project in Basildon being hit by delays after the Echo reported yesterday plans for Five Links had stalled because private buyers were also not interested in buying new flats.
A spokesman for the Homes and Communities Agency said not enough homes had been sold on the Beechwood Village part of the estate in Fryerns.
He added: “In order to fund future phases of the development, new build private sale properties need to be sold. The recession has slowed the rate at which the properties have been sold and this has impacted on the redevelopment of the Craylands estate. “We continue to work with Basildon Council, Swan and residents to progress the regeneration of the estate and deliver affordable homes for local people.”
Paul Hebden, from Swan Housing, denied the agency’s claims and said funding was in place to complete the project, which currently involves knocking down 179 older properties and building 206 new ones.
However, they are still trying to buy up the properties they need.
He added: “We have already purchased 42 homes owned by leaseholders and spent £6.2 million on buying these properties for demolition.
“We are continuing to work with a remaining 12 home owners over the purchase of their homes. However, difficulties in securing the homes earmarked for demolition have affected the pace of the overall regeneration programme.”
A spokesman for Basildon Council said the project should be completed by March 2015.
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