Let Them Build

Jeanine West, Sue Steele, Les Ventress, Arthur Swales, Freda Fraine and Jane Shorrocks''w112710
Jeanine West, Sue Steele, Les Ventress, Arthur Swales, Freda Fraine and Jane Shorrocks''w112710

RESIDENTS living in cramped and damp flats are backing plans to build new houses on the controversial Helredale playing fields in Whitby.

One group of residents is fighting to stop the land from being built on through the High Court –but another group says it is desperate for more housing.

Jane Shorrocks and neighbours living in social housing in St Peter’s Road.

They claim the flats – owned by Yorkshire Coast Homes – are overcrowded.

They were intended for single people but are being given to couples as there is nowhere else to go and it is leading to damp and ventilation problems.

Mrs Shorrocks (35) lives in a one bedroomed ground floor flat with husband Tony and their dog but believes she had no choice but to take the flat as she had been on the waiting list three years and needed a ground floor place.

She spent 17 years working at Whitby Hospital but suffers from osteoarthritis and last year was diagnosed with ME.

Her condition is deteriorating and within five years she will need a wheelchair but there is no room for one at the flat.

Mrs Shorrocks said: “We were in private rented accommodation but the landlord didn’t want to make alterations.

“We were on the waiting list for quite a while and this came up. It was our choice to move here but it was that or nothing.

“People have stopped the

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Tesco and this development and they are trying to stop the Barratts one. They own their own homes but don’t think about the people that need them - there is nowhere else for us to go without leaving Whitby.

“It would be nice for a bit of choice and some new builds but so far none of them have been purpose built for anybody that is disabled.

“I never thought five years ago that I would be without a job and disabled. You never know what’s around the corner. Their children or grandchildren could end up in the same position and can’t afford where they are.”

Les Ventress has lived in his flat for 18 years and says moving is not an option because private landlords want bonds up front which can cost up to £700.

He added: “What happens to my grandkids when they want somewhere to live. There has got to be something. If we build new houses there is a better chance of them staying in Whitby.”