'It's an eyesore': Residents slam council for neglecting estate
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Forgotten: Dee Park resident Neil Duke says the estate has been "neglected"
Derelict: Run-down flats in Spey Road
Run-down: The other side to the Dee Park redevelopment
Abandoned: Council leader Jo Lovelock admits the handover has been too slow
ANGRY neighbours say they have been forgotten in the rush to complete the multi-million pound revamp of a run down estate.
They have been left to face derelict flats, smashed windows, abandoned garages with doors hanging from their hinges and unkempt gardens piled high with broken fencing, while Reading council bosses lavish attention on the Dee Park redevelopment.
The rundown roads and empty blocks of flats ready for demolition have become a dangerous playground for children since tenants were moved out in January ahead of the next phase of the regeneration project.
Neil Duke, who has lived on the Tilehurst estate for 15 years, is furious about the state of Spey Road, Thurso Close and Orrin Close, and the 46-year-old said: "The council have left it in such a state that all we get is grief now.
"The kids get into the empty flats, trash them, smash windows and they even started a fire in one of the Spey Road flats. It's a real danger.
"Residents are sick of hearing how the council has planted another tree here or opened an old people's home there. What about this side of the estate? It's just been neglected."
The £150m project began in 2010 and has been led by Dee Park Partnership (DPP), a joint venture between Wilmott Dixon and Catalyst Housing, in partnership with Reading Borough Council. It will transform the estate with 763 new homes, a primary school, community centre and shops.
But Stacey Smith, from community group Pride of Dee Park, who has lived in Spey Road for a year, said: "The area is an eyesore at the moment, which encourages vandalism because it's difficult to be proud of where you live when it looks like that."
Reading Borough Council has removed copper piping from the flats to deter thieves and boarded up ground floor windows, but council leader Cllr Jo Lovelock, who chairs the Dee Park Board, admitted the handover between the council and developers has been too slow.
She promised work will begin on the site at the end of the month, and said: "There have been some complications in the time between getting the people moved out and demolition starting, and I am talking with officers about how this could be speeded up in the future.
"Officers have to find a balance between the money spent and making the area safe, and I don't think that balance has been quite right this time."
This article appeared in Reading Chronicle 17 May 12
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
May 19, 10:25
Oh I don't know, those images make it seem rather in fitting with the image of the third world multi-cultural slum the Reading area has become. All thanks to the previous Labour government and our current lot who are doing sweet FA to rectify the problems. Feeling enriched yet?
Recommend? Yes 11 No 4
May 22, 07:53
Cant understand why these people are moaning the place is be Regenerated. The new builds that i have seen going up on my dog walk through the estate look brilliant.
Give the Council a break and a chance to knock them down and rebuild.
It amazes me that one person moaning can ruin the great feeling of pride some of us have with what is a great thing for us the people of Dee Rd, when you look at how it used to be like here. I could not walk through the estate without some hassle from youths and yobs hanging about. It is so much better now.
Whats that saying "We have to take the Rough with the smooth"
Recommend? Yes 4 No 3
Dee rd resident
May 24, 23:07
It's not about taking the rough with the smooth. I've lived on this estate for more that 30 years and I'm ashamed at how it looks, many of the buildings in the pictures have been empty since January which has meant increased vandalism. Which means stress and upset for people living around them.
Recommend? Yes 2 No 1