Akeman Court on Cricklade Street was closed by Bromford Housing Association in Autumn 2008
ANGRY residents living near a derelict building in the centre of Cirencester have hit out at the social landlords and planning authority they say have left the building to become an eyesore.
Former sheltered housing site Akeman Court on Cricklade Street was originally closed by Bromford Housing Association in Autumn 2008 because of lack of demand.
Although Cotswold District Council resolved to grant planning permission to Bromford to demolish the building and replace it with six houses and seven flats in August 2010, the building stands untouched two years later.
Although eighteen letters of objection were received in response to the original application to demolish the building over concerns around over-development of the area and lack of parking, residents are angry the building has now been left to fall into disrepair.
Sheila Snelgrove, who lives in nearby Jobbins Court, has been campaigning for something to be done for several years, and said she had been forced to move out due to the stress it was causing her.
“The decline of the area is unacceptable and I became too embarrassed to invite family and friends to my flat,” she said.
“I became depressed because no-one took any notice or showed concern about us – the people who were long term residents in Cirencester, people who had moved into town and prepared for retirement, people who had worked in Cirencester and contributed to community services.”
She added many residents were unable to sell their properties due to the state of the area.
“I cannot return to Cirencester where I had lived and worked for nearly 40 years,” she said.
“I have been crippled physically, emotionally and financially.”
Bromford’s head of development Chris Holland said the plans were on hold as part of a wider review and will be holding a review to discuss the way forward in October.
“We hope to be in a position to move forward with the site in the near future,” he said.
CDC planning officer Mike Napper said the council was not in a position to force Bromford to take action on the site.
“Clearly we as the planning authority do not wish to see it deteriorate further but it hasn’t got to the stage where it’s a dangerous – if it did the council would do something,” he said.