Families demand action to finish work on new estate

IPSWICH: A group of frustrated residents are today demanding action to finish work on their estate – four years after building was completed.

Foxgrove Gardens, off Foxhall Road, was marketed by developers Barratt Eastern Counties as a “desirable residential address”.

The 288 flats and houses were promised to be “set back from the road within a lovely landscaped setting with an attractive ‘pocket park’ near the development entrance”.

But some residents say the dream start came crashing down as they moved in. As the economic climate worsened, they began moving into their homes but today they are complaining there is still work to be done.

Liz Hillier and her husband Rob, of Celestion Drive, were the first residents to move into their new four-bed home on the estate in May 2006. Mrs Hillier said buyers expected desirable surroundings but in her view the reality is “a complete and utter mess.”

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“The state of the streets is appalling,” she said. “There is four years’ of litter which nobody is taking responsibility for.

“We were promised a big open park, but have found out Ipswich Borough Council can’t adopt the area because it has not been left in a fit state. It makes me so angry talking about it.”

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In a bid to get their voice heard, Mr and Mrs Hillier established The Celestion Speakers, a residential group, aiming to bring their neighbourhood up to scratch.

“I know that we are in the midst of battling the effects of a recession and this is more than likely a problem all around the country,” she said. “But this is my home.

“It is the house where I brought my five-month-old daughter home following a life-saving bowel operation shortly after she was born.

“It is supposed to be my sanctuary but it isn’t.”

The Celestion Speakers have already organised litter picks to clean up the area and the group has taken steps to engage with residents to ensure people are aware of their responsibilities to the neighbourhood.

Councillor for the area Tanya de Hoedt said the borough has been working with Barratt Eastern Counties to complete the handover of the park as soon as possible.

She said: “Everyone would admit it has not been an ideal development in terms of getting things finished and moving on to the next stage, working to build the community.

“But we are working closely with Barratts to get things finished so the council can adopt the parks and open spaces.”

Speaking last night, Keith Parrett, managing director of Barratt Eastern Counties, said the company ensures the areas it is responsible for are maintained.He said: “There are several areas managed by different companies at Foxglove Gardens, including two housing associations and a residents’ management company.

“We ensure the area for which we are responsible is cleaned and tidied every two weeks. We visited the site this morning and our area of responsibility is fine.

“One previously outstanding issue was seeding of the play area. However this has now taken place and the council will adopt the area in October. Until this time, we will continue to maintain it.

“We are unaware of any repairs needed to the park, however if this is the case we will ensure this is also undertaken immediately.”

The Celestion Speakers will meet tonight at The Railway Inn in Foxhall Road at 7.30pm.

n Do you live on the estate? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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