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Rats and overflowing bins are ‘ruining’ estate say residents

PUBLISHED: 10:53 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:49 31 August 2018

Valerie Roberts standing next to bins which residents feel are contributing to a rat problem on the Cotman Fields estate in Bishopgate, Norwich. Picture: Staff

Valerie Roberts standing next to bins which residents feel are contributing to a rat problem on the Cotman Fields estate in Bishopgate, Norwich. Picture: Staff

Archant

People living in a Norwich housing estate a stone’s throw away from Norwich Cathedral say their estate has fallen into disrepair and has been forgotten by the housing association which cares for it.

Valerie Roberts standing next to the overgrown play area in Cotman Fields Housing estate. Picture: StaffValerie Roberts standing next to the overgrown play area in Cotman Fields Housing estate. Picture: Staff

An overgrown children’s play area, rats, stairwells which smell like ‘public toilets’, overflowing bins and uneven walkways are just some of the issues people living in the Cotman Fields housing estate on Bishopgate say they are dealing with on a daily basis.

The estate is cared for and managed by Cotman Housing Association but residents say that despite raising issues with the housing association complaints are not being dealt with.

Valerie Roberts, 66, who has lived on the estate for 15 years said: “I know we live by the river but the rat problem is getting worse, this is the first time I have seen rats during the day.

“We feel as though we have been totally ignored [by Cotman], people get fed up with reporting things because there is no interest, this was a beautiful estate and it’s ruined.

Valerie Roberts standing next an uneven pavement in the Cotman Estate. Picture: StaffValerie Roberts standing next an uneven pavement in the Cotman Estate. Picture: Staff

“The community spirit has left,” she said.

David Boast, 49, said: “It has been absolutely terrible. It’s the bins, they just smell like a public toilet.

“The park and the play area are disgusting and there are drugs and needles in stair wells. It has got really bad. We all try, even picking litter up but I’m just really fed up with it.”

The housing association said they have met with residents on the estate, and have committed to a programme of cleaning and repair to solve the issues.

A spokesperson for Cotman Housing Association said: “We are committed to providing a high quality service, and communities where people want to live. We are sorry that residents at Cotman Fields feel that we have not been delivering to our usual standards recently.

“We met with a number of residents from Cotman Fields on Wednesday August 22 to discuss their concerns, and have agreed a programme of repair works that will include tidying of communal areas and stairwells, regular bin cleaning, and repairing uneven walkways. We expect this all to be implemented within the next four weeks, except for some garden maintenance which needs to be completed at a specific time of year.”

Norwich City Council, who is responsible for emptying the bins at Cotman Fields housing estate said: “The correct collection capacity has been assessed for the estate and put in place and the collection frequency hasn’t changed. The bins are emptied on a regular basis, weekly for refuse and fortnightly for recycling. Any issues around emptying the bins should be addressed to us.”

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