Angry residents in Sutton on Sea stage protest about unfinished Kier homes

The protest in Sutton on Sea this morning (Friday).
The protest in Sutton on Sea this morning (Friday).

Angry residents in Sutton on Sea have staged a protest about an unfinished housing estate which has been described as ‘a blight’ on the popular resort.

Around 20 people took part last Friday and carried placards which slammed Kier Homes who stopped work on the Alford Road development 10 years ago.

One placard featured the message; ‘Welcome to Kier’s site of shame’ while another claimed: ‘All quiet on the Kier Home front.’

The development is on one of the main access routes into the town, but visitors are greeted by the site of boarded up homes.

Resident Ian Wild, who organised the demonstration, said: “The site is a disgrace and looks like a complete eyesore.

“It’s the first thing you see when you drive into Sutton on Sea.

“There’s also a national shortage of housing and people sleeping rough, so if these houses were finished it would really help.”

Protester Andrew Ashwood accused Kier Homes of not being open enough with residents, and claimed the company had yet to explain why construction had stopped.

He said: “Around 10 years ago, Kier just stopped building and they never really said why.

“The site has suffered heavy vandalism and it’s just been boarded up for the last 10 years.

“What a waste.”

Local business owner Robert Watson branded the site as ‘a disgrace’ and ‘a blot on the landscape’.

Meanwhile, Mr Wild has started a petition calling on East Lindsey District Council - as the local planning authority - to implement a Section 215 notice to take action against the developers.

He said he had gathered ‘several hundred’ signatures.

ELDC’s Principal Enforcement Officer, Jo Parker, said the council is as eager as the community to see the site completed.

She explained: “We have received assurances from Kier Homes that it’s their intention to commence the development in the very near future.

“Such notices are aimed at improving the visual appearance of an area in situations, for example, when a building is falling down.

“We don’t feel this site meets the criteria of a notice at this time.”

No town and district councillors were present at the protest.

However, Mayor Councillor Tony Mee and district councillor Stephen Palmer indicated the protest was ill-timed.

Coun Mee said: “I do agree with Mr Wild and Mr Watson, the site has stood still for far too long.

“A representative from Kier Homes has said the work on the current houses on site will be complete in the first quarter of 2018, so I feel the demonstration timing was inappropriate.

“There is no evidence to suggest that Kier won’t do as they promised.”

Coun Palmer added: “I do fully support the right to protest, but the reason I feel the demonstration is ill-timed is that Kier has, for the first time, made a promise to start this stalled development.”

Coun Palmer stressed the developers should be given a chance to prove themselves, but stressed he would be the first to protest, if no progress is made in the coming months.

A spokesman for Kier Homes said: “We remain committed to completing the existing plots on site and work on those will begin shortly with the homes due to go on sale in the summer.

“Following the completion of these plots, we will be advancing our plans for the remainder of the development.”