Demolition of Cirencester eyesore Akeman Court begins
WORK has begun on the long-awaited demolition of a derelict eyesore in the centre of Cirencester despite resident’s concerns around the plans for the future of the site.
Sheltered housing building Akeman Court on Cricklade Street was closed by Bromford Housing Association in August 2008 due to lack of demand but has since stood untouched, prompting an outcry from residents in the area.
Although demolition work finally began recently, residents have said they are concerned they have not been consulted about the project or told what Bromford’s plans are for redevelopment of the site.
Sheila Snelgrove, who was forced to move out of her flat at neighbouring Jobbins Court as a result of the stress caused by the situation, said she felt residents "have not and are still not being shown any consideration".
"No-one seems to have overall control or be prepared to accept responsibility," she said. "CDC say contact Bromford, Bromford say contact CDC.
"This is a sad and scandalous situation for Cirencester and its residents.
"After nearly 40 years, I thought I belonged there – I have been driven away."
A CDC spokesman said it had granted permission for the demolition of the site before any replacement work had been approved due to the unattractiveness of the vacant building.
"It was considered that a "gap site" would be no more harmful to the conservation area than the unused Akeman Court building," he added.
Bromford’s director of development Penny Downing said the building was being demolished to avoid problems of vandalism and anti-social behaviour in the area and that the company was working with CDC and consulting with residents around its plans for the redevelopment of the site.
She added and that the authority has plans to build a mix of residential homes for the site, saying: "We hope to share plans in the coming months".