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Troubled Vange housing estate compared to third world
A TROUBLED housing estate has been compared to the third world after a regeneration project left it “pepper potted”.
The 3/4 estate in Vange is now a mixture of new, repaired and ageing properties despite a major regeneration project hoping to revamp the estate and tackle rising crime and antisocial behaviour.
South Anglia Housing, which owns more than half of the properties, built 120 new homes and carried out renovation work on the original flat-roofed houses from 2006 until 2010.
However, privately-owned properties were untouched with owners unable to pay the additional £8,000 fee to the housing association to get their flat roofs over-pitched.
Ralph Lowe, 46, bought his home in Polsteads in 1999 after hearing about the promising plans, but now says the estate has been left in a state.
He said: “I used to live in Laindon but I decided to move to Vange because of the works being done. I thought it would look wonderful but the reality is that the housing association were allowed to pepper-pot the whole estate.
“Within the last few years there has been new houses put up right in the middle of the estate rather than on the outskirts like they do everywhere else. All the older properties have just been left and no one seems to care.
“There are always campaigns to send money abroad but we have enough of our own problems here. It looks like a third world country on this estate. We have plenty of developers wanting to build on greenbelt land but why don’t they just re-develop this estate?”
Daniel Munyambu, independent councillor for Vange, has echoed concerns for the 3/4 estate.
He said: “The appearance of the estate and the rest of Vange in general is a problem and something which is of great concern to me. The current policies are clearly not working and not looking after the well-being of our residents. We need the council to bring in new policies which refer directly to the issues so that improvements can be made. On the 3/4 estate that might mean refurbishing the older properties which have been left.
“Billericay and Wickford seem to have had all this money ploughed into them and Vange has been left. People seem happy to let some residents live in depravation. I can understand why they feel like Vange has been forgotten about.”
Mark Grimwood, Head of Neighbourhood at South Anglia , said: “We’re committed to providing good quality housing to our residents on the Vange 3/4 estate and have invested millions in improving the estate and our residents’ homes over the years. This has made a massive difference to our residents and the wider community."