Homeowners left behind while a former council estate is being demolished around them are “disgusted” by the rubbish left lying in the street.
Dave Kennedy is one of few residents still living on the Lakes Estate, in Jarrow, after South Tyneside Council announced its plans to demolish the pre-fabricated homes and re-locate council residents.
Homeowners were left in limbo over what would happen to them as they were told housing bosses would enter into discussions with them about the future of their properties.
Now, months on, Mr Kennedy, who lives in Eskdale Drive with his wife Karen, and children Keown, 17, and Anya, 14, says he’s surrounded by rubbish that the council promised they would remove.
The 48-year-old transport company manager said: “They started demolishing a few weeks ago and they’ve taken down about 14 houses so far. They’ve stopped now and say they’re starting phase two in September, but they’ve just left loads of rubbish behind, and some of it has even been there since Christmas.
“The council tenants were told when they were moving out that if there was anything they didn’t want they could leave it in the garden and the council would get rid of it.
“They promised us left behind as well that they’d be clearing up all the rubbish as they went along, but they haven’t.
“The only things that have been taken away are scrap metal and fridges and things that the scrap men have come and helped themselves to.
“But the gardens are filled with tins of chemicals, paint, old toilets, broken sinks and bags that you wouldn’t dare open because you have no idea what’s in them.
“Some of it has been there since Christmas and it’s rotten.”
Mr Kennedy says the rubbish is attracting rats and other rodents, making it an even more unsuitable place for the residents to be living in.
He added: “I was lying in bed on Sunday when my neighbour, Pauline Smith, phoned me. She was in a right state and screaming at me to get over there.
“I rushed over and she was hysterical, saying there was a dead rat in her garden. A cat or a fox probably got it and killed it, but she was very upset about finding it and I had to remove it.
“This isn’t a very nice place for us to be living and we just want to know what’s going on and when the council is going to get rid of all this rubbish.”
Mr Kennedy moved into his house in 1994 and says his family is just one of five or six left on the street.
He said: “We’re still in limbo over what’s happening with the house. We were told they were going to negotiate with us but there doesn’t seem to be a lot going back and forward.”
A spokesman for South Tyneside Homes said: “We would like to thank the resident for bringing this matter to our attention and we will be arranging for a cleansing team to visit and remove any remaining rubbish as soon as possible.
“We have also been experiencing some incidences of fly tipping issues in this area and are working to identify the perpetrators. To report fly-tipping or other environmental problems, call the council’s Customer Contact Centre on 0191 427 7000 or email email@example.com
“Environmental health officers have already responded to complaints about rats, however if residents are still experiencing problems, we would encourage them to contact the pest control team.”