Jarrow street labelled '˜war zone' as resident calls for problem homes to be demolished

A resident on a South Tyneside estate says she feels like she is living in a '˜war zone' as work to demolish problem homes has been delayed.

Eskdale Drive resident June Wright.
Eskdale Drive resident June Wright.

People living in council-owned properties in Eskdale Drive, Jarrow, had been due to have their homes revamped as part of the Decent Homes Standard Programme.

But a survey carried out by contractor Keepmoat, found the pre-fab properties were in worse condition than first anticipated, meaning that planned works would take much longer and at a much higher cost than originally budgeted.

Empty properties in Eskdale Drive, Jarrow, awaiting demolition.

It was decided people would be moved out the 43 properties which would then be demolished to make way for new rebuilds.

But despite residents being moved out and metal fences going up around houses earmarked to be pulled down months ago, people say they have yet to see any progress.

South Tyneside Council say the work has been delayed by “technical issues”

June Wright, 65, who was moved out of her three-bedroomed property to a bungalow further up the road said: “When we were moved out we were told we’d be out for 15 weeks and then we would be able to return home after they carried out the upgrades.

Empty properties in Eskdale Drive, Jarrow, awaiting demolition.

“Then we were told we couldn’t move back because they were knocking them down.

“We have been in this bungalow now for almost 10 months and there doesn’t seem to be anything being done at all.

“It’s like the forgotten street. There’s boards up on the houses and metal fencing. It looks like a war zone.”

She added: “No-one seems to know what is going on but in the meantime we are expected to live with the street like this.

“There are still some people living in their homes in the middle of all of this. “

It is understood the homes will be rebuilt with residents having the option of moving into one of the new homes.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “The first phase of demolition has been delayed due to technical issues with Northern Power Grid being unable to isolate power supplies to some of the homes.

“We have done our utmost to keep residents affected by these works up to date. A consultation event was organised in December and, although Mrs Wright could not attend that, officers took the plans to her house so she could see them. In addition, a number of letters have been hand delivered this year to residents affected by this work.

“Once we have confirmation from Northern Power Grid that the isolation works have been completed further letters will be hand delivered giving two weeks’ notice to works starting.”

The prefabricated homes on Eskdale Drive were built at the end of the Second World War and were expected to last only 20 years.

A total of 43 homes are expected to be demolished as part of the programme.

To date, more than £266m has been invested in the Decent Homes programme improving the living conditions of people across the Borough.