Residents of St Peter’s Court in Chapel Lane, Lowestoft, to be re-homed as plans to demolish flats approved
Residents of a seaside town’s only high-rise block of flats will be re-homed as the accommodation is to face demolition.
East Suffolk Council has made the decision to move tenants of St Peter’s Court in Chapel Street, Lowestoft, into new accommodation as plans to demolish the flats have been approved.
A survey of the 90-block of flats, where residents are mostly council tenants, was completed as part of the council’s improvement programme.
It revealed the building requires further repair and refurbishment, which could cost the authority nearly £9 million.
Subsequently, over the period of 30 years, the site would need over £23m of investment to keep the building safe.
This would leave the council with a deficit of £2.5m, which could go towards renewing other homes.
Cllr David Beaven, cabinet member for housing, said: “The last thing we wanted to do in a housing crisis was knock down 90 of our council flats, but we have little choice.
“Ballpark figures are that we could spend £9m getting St Peters up to the required standard and give tenants another 10 years in their homes, albeit disrupted by building works.
“Or we bite the bullet, making the difficult decision to demolish, then deliver new sustainable council homes to rent for another 100 years.
“We don’t want to kick this can down the road for another administration to sort out. We are not afraid to take this hard decision in the best interests of Lowestoft people.”
The council will move residents into new accommodation over the next 12 months, and then demolish the building.
Ahead of the decision being taken, all residents were invited to a drop-in session were they were asked to submit their views on the demolition proposal.
More residents expressed their preference for the demolition – with two-thirds supporting the plan.
Cllr Beaven added: “We know that these are not just bricks and mortar but homes to 60 families.
“I spent two days talking to tenants the other week. The Court was once a great community, held in affection by local people, but tenants realise that its time has come.
“I guarantee that all tenants will be offered alternative appropriate social housing in Lowestoft. Nobody is going to be exiled unless they want to move.
“We will deal with the East Suffolk housing crisis by hook or by crook. Our housing team is up for the challenge. Watch this space.”