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Vulnerable neighbours fear building site noise and rats

PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 September 2015

cope house

cope house

Archant

Residents say they will have no escape

Residents plan to protest against building work they claim would leave vulnerable neighbours in dirty conditions with little security.

Those living in Cope House, Redbrick Estate – sheltered accommodation for the elderly – have expressed fears over plans for the demolition of the Vibast Community Centre and Old Street Health Centre to make way for two housing blocks, one of nine storeys and and one of four.

Terry Page, 75, has lived in Cope House with his wife since he moved to the estate to work there as a cleaner in 1966, says one resident has already moved out due to his concerns over disruption during building works.

He said: “He was happy here. He didn’t want to move because he made friends but he said 
he couldn’t put up with what was going to happen.”

Mr Page said: “We’re worried about the noise, the dust, the dirt, the potential rat infestation and the security aspect of it. The security will be zero.”

He will be attending the protest at the planning committee on Tuesday.

Pete Muswell, chairman of the Vibast Community Centre and of the Tenant’s Management Association who is organising the protest, says the building works will make life miserable for the residents of the sheltered accomodation next to the proposed development site.

He said: “Half of the residents of Cope House are housebound. They have no escape. I think it’s completely unacceptable.

“They are vulnerable, many of them are wheelchair users. Ninety per cent of them signed a formal petition against it.”

More than 100 objections to the plans have been sent to the council, along with two petitions with 152 and 172 signatures.

Mr Page added: We’ve lived here for 40-plus years. I think this is the first time we’ve been unhappy here.

“I don’t want to move out, but we have spoken about it.

“It’s going to be horrendous for the residents.

“I emailed councillors about it.”

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