Residents close to the tidal barrier viewing platform on Ipswich Waterfront are voicing their frustrations over the site - which is still closed off to the public more than THREE YEARS since it was built.

The new public open space with seating and river views, cycle path and walkway, was created as part of the £67.4million tidal project to protect more than 1,600 homes and 400 businesses from flooding.

But nearby residents are concerned that despite the area being closed, there has been an increase in anti-social behaviour taking place inside the fenced-off area.

"We want someone to provide some clarity," said a resident of the nearby Griffin Wharf estate.

"The platform has been fenced off for over three years now and nothing seems to be happening.

"People are now breaking into the area and are drinking, urinating and playing loud music from around 4pm to 2am."

The barrier and viewing area was completed in March, 2019, but the open space around it has remained closed.

The area was initially sealed off from the public until safety work could be carried out to fence off a railway line.

"A lot of residents are feeling very frustrated," said the concerned resident.

"On really hot days, we want to open the windows at night. But we can't because of the noise.

"But nobody seems to be taking responsibility for the area and nothing is being done.

"As residents, we just want to know what is going on."

In 2019, Environment Agency officials handed over responsibility for sorting out the rail safety issues to Ipswich Port operators ABP.

However, the company is still struggling to find a way to make the area safe for visitors.

An ABP spokesman said: "Safety is a core value for our company and as operators of the railway line, which is adjacent to the site, we are working with local stakeholders to agree a solution for creating safe public access to the space.

"We monitor security in the area and collaborate with the local police when we encounter instances of anti-social behaviour.”

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said he has been working with Suffolk County Council to see when the area can be opened for public use.

"It is frustrating to see this public space restricted for so long," he said.

"We should be making the most of these public spaces, rather than blocking them off to local residents.

"Reducing anti-social behaviour is a key priority here in Ipswich. This is something I have been raising continually in Westminster, in meetings with the Suffolk Police force, and with Ministers.

"I understand the frustrations of local residents unable to access this public space. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on this issue if you live in the area.

"I will continue working with the county council to get this moving as quickly as possible."