Residents’ concerns over street being used as work yard in Haverhill

Stock image of a garage block
Stock image of a garage block

Residents of Haverhill’s Chalkstone Estate say they are fed up with a housing association using their residential street as a work yard.

Havebury Housing Partnership has been using an area of Falcon Close to carry out maintenance work, sparking concerns from residents over the safety of children and the lack of parking.

Roger Bennett, one of the concerned residents, said Havebury had taken over five garages and placed two skips in an area previously used for ‘overflow parking’, causing residents the ‘inconvenience’ of having to leave their cars further from home.

The 70-year-old said Havebury ‘must have made a lot of money’ when it sold its office building and yard in Manor Road and it should use that to pay for somewhere more suitable.

He said: “People can’t afford to pay rent on the garages so they’re sitting empty, but they still shouldn’t be turned into a building site. We have a big industrial estate up the road – they should be there.”

The grandfather-of-eight, who has lived in the street for 10 years, said Havebury’s vehicles were ‘up and down all day long’ from about 7.30am.

He and his neighbours are worried about the risk the increased vehicle movements pose to children in the area, especially now they are on their school holidays and playing outside more.

He said: “My next door neighbour phoned and spoke to someone at Havebury to ask how long they were going to be there and they said ‘permanently’.

“One of our big fears is the kids might run out into the street – the residents know kids play there but these drivers don’t. Being a close, it’s supposed to be a close, not a frigging motorway.”

Mr Bennett added: “Nobody told us this was going to happen. It seems ridiculous to use a residential area as a work space. I think, personally, if they were going to do this they should have had a planning application in.”

A spokeswoman for Havebury said: “Our maintenance team use the area near the garages at Falcon Close whilst they are undertaking maintenance to tenant properties. We would advise residents that if they have any concerns regarding our team, vehicles or the area in question, that they contact and speak to us directly on 03003 300900.”