An elderly resident says Eastbourne Homes has allowed builders to take over the car park at her home without any consultation with her or the other residents.
Muriel Smith, 88, lives at Gwent Court, an accommodation block for older people, near Seaside, and says the residents’ car park has been closed.
Nearly everyone here has carers a few times a day and they can’t get in and out as easily now. They have to park out on the street and it is a nightmare.Muriel Smith
She said, “Last month, we received a letter from Eastbourne Homes saying the car park was going to be shut for around six months to help assist contractors build new homes next door. We were never consulted on the matter, we just got a letter telling us it was happening – it is very unfair. They know everyone in here is elderly and they think they can do what they like because we won’t be able to do anything about it.
“We objected to the planning application for the new homes because of all the traffic problems around here. It was given planning permission, which I accept, but now our car park has been taken over.”
Mrs Smith says she cannot walk far and relied on the disabled parking bay in the Gwent Court car park.
She is now facing a long and slow walk to the street.
She added, “Nearly everyone here has carers a few times a day and they can’t get in and out as easily now. They have to park out on the street and it is a nightmare. It is also very noisy and dusty. We have also had damage to our gardens as a result of this work.”
Eastbourne Homes has suggested residents use the rear car park while the work is being carried out but Ms Smith explained the key to the door which provides access to that car park does not work because the locks have been changed. She says residents would have a long walk round to the back of the property to access the rear car park.
An Eastbourne Homes spokesperson said, “We wrote to residents at the end of March to let them know that we were putting temporary car parking changes in place at Gwent Court. We have allowed the small front car park to be used by the owner of the empty Lloyds Bank in order for vehicles to access the site as it is surrounded on all sides.
“The new development will provide much needed new homes and will assist in the overall plan to regenerate the Devonshire area.
“As part of the agreement, the contractor has brought the rear car park back into private use for Gwent Court residents.
“We are very sorry that Mrs Smith is not happy with the arrangements and our head of housing has visited her twice regarding this. Another resident has confirmed that although she has four carer visits a day, her carers have not raised concerns about the changes and she has not been inconvenienced.
“We have not received any other complaints about the changes and the on site co-ordinator is available daily if any resident has a concern.
“She checks the area daily and the contractor is keeping the car park area clean and tidy and following the rules that we would expect in order to show consideration to Gwent Court residents.”