Sutton on Sea: Protest in resort over 'eyesore' houses

Housing development
Image caption Work on the development stopped in 2010

A derelict housing development where work stopped eight years ago is blighting the image of a popular seaside resort, it is claimed.

Planning permission was granted for more than 100 homes on Alford Road in Sutton on Sea in 2006, but since then developer Kier has built just 13.

The resort's mayor Tony Mee described it as a "deplorable situation" and residents said it was an "eyesore".

Kier said it expected to resume work in the near future.

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Local residents plan to stage a protest at the site later in an attempt to put pressure on the firm.

However, Mr Mee said it was not the right time, and Kier should be given the opportunity to put things right.

"If they don't keep their promise that is the time to protest," he said, adding that if they failed to deliver he would be "on to them full blood".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The houses in 2009 before they were boarded up

But local business owner Robert Watson, who said the boarded up properties were "giving the village the look of being a depressed area", said Kier had reneged on their promises before.

"We've had words and promises before, and we just want to see some action," he said.

Others backed his calls, including resident Ian Wild, who said: "This is a holiday village, and we want it to look attractive for visitors, and for the people who live here."

"The first thing people see is this dilapidated, neglected building site."

"It sends out the wrong message to anyone coming into Sutton on Sea," he added.

Image copyright Richard Croft
Image caption Residents claimed the boarded up houses send out the wrong message to people visiting the resort

In a statement, Kier said: "We remain committed to completing the existing plots on site and work on those will begin shortly, with the homes due to go on sale in the summer."

The firm said it would then advance plans for the remainder of the site.

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