Greenwich Council has denied abandoning a derelict estate in Charlton, despite rubbish continuing to pile up during the week amid homes that have been left open to the elements.
The Maryon Grove estate, which is awaiting demolition and redevelopment, has been deteriorating for years but the final residents only moved out last month.
Fire gutted two of the maisonettes last month and flytipping has been piling up on the site since then, in full view of neighbours whose homes surround the condemned estate. One of those neighbours told 853 that the council needed to “get a grip” on the situation.
The 16 blocks, on the Charlton-Woolwich border, are being fenced off before an order can be made to demolish them. But with just two workers carrying out the job, the work will not be finished for another four weeks.
In the meantime, the old homes are being broken into and local children are using the estate as a short-cut.
New graffiti appeared on a block facing Woodhill primary school, with the paint pot seemingly flung at the school wall afterwards.
The estate, built as 172 council homes in the 1970s, will eventually be replaced with up to 165 homes built by the developer Lovell, according to outline plans filed nine years ago. Of the new homes, 90 will be for council tenants.
Detailed plans were due to be filed in January, but none have emerged yet.
Neigbours have been told that caretaking teams are still on site and that flytipping is removed weekly. But piles of rubbish have been continuing to build and gardens are filled with old furniture.
One local’s appeal on social media for a giant overflowing bin to be removed from the estate was ignored by staff for two weeks until this website contacted the council’s press office.
To make matters worse, Lovell contractors building new homes on the adjacent Morris Walk Estate hit a water main on Wednesday, cutting off supplies to local residents.
A neighbour, who did not wish to be named, told 853: “You can imagine how frustrated we are with the length of time it is taking to board off the estate, the associated issues of community safety and the amount of crime and antisocial behaviour being committed in the area.”
The neighbour said that Lovell had been supplying bottled water to residents affected by the broken main but added: “These things happen but local goodwill is fast evaporating, especially given that the council doesn’t appear to have any grip on the situation or appear to be at all bothered by it.”
By Friday evening – two days after this website had contacted the council – work on fencing off the estate appeared to have been stepped up with some of the litter and graffiti removed. But it is still possible to walk into empty homes and garages, with nothing done to secure them.
A council spokesperson said: “The Maryon Grove estate has not been abandoned. All residents have now been moved out to prepare for the next phase of the Council’s £557 million Woolwich Estates programme.
“We are sadly aware of the trespassing, vandalism, squatting, fly tipping and other anti-social behaviour that unscrupulous people have been using the empty estate to commit.
“We have acted quickly on all reports of fly tipping and those reported to us have been removed, as will visible graffiti, and the paint dumped outside Woodhill Primary School. We will continue to make checks at Maryon Grove on a daily basis and will take action against anyone we catch dumping rubbish.
“We urge anyone having a spring clear out to use the council’s bulky waste collection service, or take their waste to our Reuse and Recycling Centre in Nathan Way for free, if they want to be assured that their rubbish will not be illegally dumped.
“We are aware that a water main burst at Morris Walk South and this has now been repaired by the building contractor.”
The council said that residents could call 101 or 999 in emergencies to report antisocial behaviour or report flytipping on the council website. However, 853 understands that one of the ignored reports was made via the council website.
A Lovell spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
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