Newmarket's Icewell Hill and Churchill Court come under spotlight at town council meeting
The future of two Newmarket housing estates is to come under the spotlight, with residents calling for major improvements.
Fly tipping, anti-social behaviour involving drink and drugs and lack of parking, are just some of the issues residents of Churchill Court and Icewell Hill flats want their landlord, Flagship, to find solutions to.
At a meeting of Newmarket Town Council’s neighbourhood plan committee on Monday, representatives of Flagship gave a presentation outlining feedback they had received as part of an early consultation with residents of the 200 flats in its ownership.
Callum James, project leader with Flagship’s asset management team, said: “About 18 months ago we started a scheme called Spotlight to put the spotlight on a community to find out about its concerns and find solutions.”
He told councillors that the consultation had been affected by the pandemic but that text communications had been sent to tenants of both sets of flats which were built more than 50 years ago.
The messages asked them what they thought of facilities including their homes, garages, and communal areas.
Mr James said one of the lowest scores given by residents was for the garage areas and there were also concerns raised by residents plagued by youth anti-social behaviour involving drink and drugs.
“The next step is to create a vision for the future by speaking to more people over the next couple of months,” said Mr James. “We want to develop solutions to galvanise a vision for Icewell Hill and Churchill Court.”
Cllr Kevin Yarrow said: “One of the issues is the garage areas at Icewell Hill. A large number of the garages are boarded up and it does seem to me that a lot of the garages are too small.”
He added: “The public areas inside the flats stink and the lifts are a problem because they are too small. There are elderly residents too who are struggling.”
There were suggestions from members that Flagship might look at demolishing the garages and using the space to create much needed additional parking for residents.
“We have to have a public meeting with residents so they can say exactly what their needs are,” said Mr James.”It has to come from them."