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Residents' fears over affordable housing

PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 August 2009 | UPDATED: 08:24 01 August 2010

RESIDENTS have raised concerns about plans to redevelop sheltered housing units in Beccles into affordable housing.

Orwell Housing Association has submitted plans to replace 34 sheltered units at Tan House in St Benedict's Road with ten flats and seven houses for local residents.

RESIDENTS have raised concerns about plans to redevelop sheltered housing units in Beccles into affordable housing.

Orwell Housing Association has submitted plans to replace 34 sheltered units at Tan House in St Benedict's Road with ten flats and seven houses for local residents.

But local people have raised concerns and say insufficient parking has been provided.

Beccles Town Council has received four letters of objection and a report says that issues such as parking, an increase in traffic and access in and out of the cul-de-sac came up at a recent site meeting. The town council has recommended the scheme be refused on the grounds of poor access for vehicles using St Benedict's Road.

According to a report to Waveney District Council the proposals are for four three-bedroom houses, three two-bedroom houses and 10 one-bedroom accessible flats. The flats would share a communal garden and seven parking spaces and the houses would have their own garden and allocated parking space.

But local residents say the parking provision outlined is insufficient and could lead to more pressure on street parking.

Melanie Mills, headteacher at Ravensmere Infant School, which is opposite the proposed development, has written to Waveney District Council on behalf of the governors about the issue. She says that while the school believes the proposed development will be an improvement to the appearance of the locality, it does have a concern about parking.

Another resident writes: “There is already severe pressure on street parking in the locality, and I am concerned that the proposals will further exacerbate this problem. I notice that the boundary to the development at the Ravensmere end takes in an area that is currently used as parking by existing residents. Clearly these vehicles will be forced on to the already crowded streets, and the presence of Ravensmere Infants School constitutes a further aggravation of the problem.”

In a support statement Orwell Housing Association says it has been working closely in partnership with Waveney District Council's housing department to redevelop the Tan House site.

Greg Dodds, the association's new business manager, said: “For some months Waveney have been encouraging residents to move out of the existing building and slowly de-canting the scheme to enable a phased development to take place. Many of the residents have already been re-housed, over time, in Waveney owned stock which is more appropriate to their needs in the locality.”

He said the flats had been designed to fully accessible wheelchair standard and would create a more comfortable and secure environment for elderly residents.

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