Felixstowe: Residents fight for action over collapsed road

FELIXSTOWE: Residents claimed today that they had told the owners of a road which has collapsed outside their homes that it was suffering problems EIGHT years ago.

Householders in Andrew Close, Felixstowe, are keeping an anxious eye on the street beyond their windows in case any more should suddenly sink and fall away.

A long-standing crack in the road widened dramatically on Friday after weeks of heavy rain, part of the surface subsiding down an embankment, leaving a crevasse around 15ft deep.

It left the road impassable without vehicles mounting the pavement.

Residents of the bungalows, owned by Flagship Housing, said many of the people living in the close suffered disabilities and were now beside themselves with worry about their homes, and concerned about not being able to get their vehicles close to their properties.

They said the homes were built in 2000 on 80ft deep piles and had suffered some structural problems, originally put down to settlement.

The road first showed signs of cracking in 2004 when residents told Flagship and some repair was carried out. Cracks reappeared in 2006, got worse in 2008 and by 2009 were 46ft long.

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Residents said they were told full repairs would be carried out by March 2010 but nothing happened.

Jocelyn Foreman, of Andrew Close, said: “It looks like an earthquake. We have been fighting to get this repaired and this could have been avoided if the work had been done.”

The homes overlook Peewit Caravan Park, on land below, and the park has also suffered from the landslip – with pipes feeding a drainage pond at the top having broken, sending a cascade of water through the soil onto the site.

Liz Smith, from Peewit, said the water was running over the park’s new bowls green.

“We have 34 privately-owned caravans in that area and we are having to tell the owners to bring their wellies to reach them,” she said.

Emergency planning officers also attended Andrew Close to assess whether there was a need for evacuation, road closures, or other action to help the residents.

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FELIXSTOWE: Emma King, Flagship’s customer services director said: “We are sorry to learn about the collapse of the road.

“Our first priority has been to get on site with our customers to limit inconvenience.

“There have been longstanding problems with this road and the recent heavy rainfall is likely to have had an impact on the condition, too. However, we are unable to comment on the specifics as the issue is subject to litigation at this time.

“We acknowledge the frustration felt by local residents and will continue to work with them to try and make life easier.”