Anger and upset over empty bedsits and demolish or sell options for Portalfield sheltered housing in Stalham

Moves by the Victory Housing Trust to upgrade some of its sheltered housing is causing upset and anger in Stalham, according to a town leader.

Vacancies at three Victory complexes which contain bedsits - Portalfield, Stalham, School Close, Ludham, and Leeds Way, Horning - are not being filled while consultations are under way on proposals which include demolition and selling the sites.

Bedsits account for 14 of Portalfield's 32 homes for elderly people and they are no longer considered adequate accommodation, Jenny Manye, Victory's interim sheltered housing manager told Stalham Town Council on Monday.

Ms Mayne said residents were being consulted about three options: conversion to create larger accommodation, demolishing and rebuilding, or selling the sites. She estimated that about seven Portalfield bedsits were now vacant.

Ms Mayne acknowledged that the process was causing uncertainty but said Victory was obliged to upgrade the accommodation and bedsits were no longer popular. A final decision was expected in October.

But Pauline Grove-Jones, a Stalham Town and NNDC councillor, said she knew of people desperate for homes in Stalham who were angry that units at Portalfield were empty.

Ms Grove-Jones added that Victory's policy of selling off some of its stock had made it appear to some like a property development company rather than a social landlord.

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Town councillors said they would strongly oppose any move to sell Portalfield.