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Call to sort out housing eyesore on Morley Street in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 March 2012

The unoccupied homes on Morley Street that homeless man David McArthur, pictured with his dog Tia has said should be put to better use by Norwich City Council. Photo: Steve Adams

The unoccupied homes on Morley Street that homeless man David McArthur, pictured with his dog Tia has said should be put to better use by Norwich City Council. Photo: Steve Adams

A call has been made for something to be done about two eyesore properties in the north of Norwich.

The two houses on Morley Street, near Silver Road, have been left vacant for a number of years and, as previously reported, there is a history of drug users and homeless people using the properties which had been earmarked for demolition.

A man living nearby who wanted to remain anonymous contacted the Evening News this week to say he and other residents are very concerned about the situation and they want Norwich City Council to do something about it.

He said there were further concerns now squatters had moved into the building.

The man said: “My concern is that the properties have been left empty for six years and residents nearby are scared to find that squatters have taken up residency there.

“We asked for the place to be made secure. There are vulnerable and elderly neighbours nearby, and children have to walk past on their way to school.

“Residents are alarmed and concerned. We want something done with the property and we are angry it is taking so long.” David McArthur, 44, who is squatting in one of the properties, told the Evening News he had moved in a couple of days ago because he had nowhere else to go.

Mr McArthur, who said he has numerous medical problems and has been homeless for about a year, said while he had been offered some accommodation it was unsuitable because it was away from Norwich and he was unable to take his van or his puppy Tia with him.

He said he had made a homeless application to Norwich City Council via the charity Shelter, and said he was also trying to clear up one of the houses and the surrounding garden.

He said: “I am sick and I am homeless. I am not a drug user

“This is the first time I have squatted. I do not want to but I do not want to be forced to go somewhere without my van, my property and my puppy.

“I am making the property safe. I have moved lots of glass, and cleared up all the litter.”

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: “We have explored a wide range of options for the future of this site and part of this will involve consulting with the community to agree what the best use of the site will be, such as additional parking for the area or a community garden. Local people will, of course, be involved in any decisions made about future plans for the site.”

About Mr McArthur, the spokesman said: “When people come to the council and report they are homeless, we always assess each situation to find the most appropriate form of help for that individual.

“This could mean that our housing options team provides help and advice or it could mean we involve other organisations, such as St Martin’s Housing Trust, Shelter and other local authorities, to provide support.”

What do you think about the situation? Email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk or write to Letters, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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