Derelect buildings on the Basildon Craylands estate that are due to be demolished and redeveloped

Furious locals living on a ‘doomed’ and unfinished estate plagued with crime, violence and arson for nearly 20 years have branded it a ‘hellhole’.

Desperate residents say they have no idea what the future holds for the homes they live on after a £250million regeneration project collapsed during building work.

And others living near the homes in the Essex town of Basildon say their lives are ‘horrific’ living next to an unfinished estate they say resembles a ‘warzone’.

The ambitious project for the Basildon Craylands estate was announced in 2006 by Swan Housing.

The plan was to raze it to the ground and build 1,310 new homes and was a success to begin with. 

But it has since been left abandoned and unfinished.

One resident left next to the ghost blocks told MailOnline: ‘It’s limbo. It’s like no man’s land. I feel like the last man standing. We’re all trapped.’

Derelect buildings on the Basildon Craylands estate that are due to be demolished and redeveloped

Derelect buildings on the Basildon Craylands estate that are due to be demolished and redeveloped

Desperate residents say they have no idea what the future holds for the homes they live on after a £250 million regeneration project collapsed during building work

Desperate residents say they have no idea what the future holds for the homes they live on after a £250 million regeneration project collapsed during building work

Keith Miller lives next to some of the demolition work. He said: 'We've made numerous complaints to the local council and police about youths treating the site like a playground.'

Keith Miller lives next to some of the demolition work. He said: ‘We’ve made numerous complaints to the local council and police about youths treating the site like a playground.’

Colin Parkins, 65, (pictured) built a ground floor maisonette two years before the scheme was announced

Colin Parkins, 65, (pictured) built a ground floor maisonette two years before the scheme was announced

The ambitious project for the Basildon Craylands estate was announced in 2006 by Swan Housing

The ambitious project for the Basildon Craylands estate was announced in 2006 by Swan Housing

After Swan Housing’s plans were delayed, the estate project was picked up by Sanctuary Housing.

The developer has since started demolition work on the north area of the estate, which is full of empty homes.

But others living on the estate originally earmarked for demolition now claim it has made it impossible to move or sell-up.

One of those most impacted is Colin Parkins, 65, who build a ground floor maisonette two years before the scheme was announced.

The Tesco delivery driver said: ‘It’s an absolute shambles. I cannot live my life normally. Everything has been on hold for years.

‘I had a sale fall through a few years ago when the buyer found out about the regeneration plans. There are no clear answers and we’re living in the middle of a building site, with no idea what is happening.

‘It’s hell. I have no idea what is happening. It’s a living nightmare.

‘We are not kept up to date. Sanctuary has said it is under review, but what does that mean? What does that mean for our futures living here?

‘I do not know if they will finish what has been started.’

The 65-year-old said: ‘At my age, I cannot get another mortgage. I had to spend thousands the other year on the bathroom because it needed doing.

‘But I cannot keep spending my savings if we might all have to move out soon.

‘It’s limbo. It’s like no man’s land.

‘The estate feels doomed. I am very angry.’

He added: ‘I feel like the last man standing. We’re all trapped.

Aerial shot shows the Basildon Craylands estate- residents say it's like living in a warzone

Aerial shot shows the Basildon Craylands estate- residents say it’s like living in a warzone

Jenny Groves, 74,  (pictured) says she faces constant noise and disruption from the building work

Jenny Groves, 74,  (pictured) says she faces constant noise and disruption from the building work 

Those living on the estate originally earmarked for demolition now claim they live uncertain futures, unsure on what will happen

Those living on the estate originally earmarked for demolition now claim they live uncertain futures, unsure on what will happen

Homes on the Craylands estate that are still being lived in - it's not known if they will be part of the redevelopment programme

Homes on the Craylands estate that are still being lived in – it’s not known if they will be part of the redevelopment programme

‘I would love to move. But I don’t know what is going on.’

Jenny Groves, 74, lives in homes next to the building work, but her home is not under-threat.

But outside her home is a large fence which blocks her view, and says she faces the constant noise and disruption of building work.

And she says the area has been plagued by crime and anti-social behaviour during the last few years.

She said: ‘There’s been endless problems. If you leave something in such a state it is going to attract problems.

‘There’s been arson attacks, squatters, parties, all sorts of stuff day and night. It has been terrible.

‘I had to call the fire brigade because somebody was starting a fire and I was worried our homes would go up in flames.

The new homes on the Craylands estate that have been built as part of the regeneration

The new homes on the Craylands estate that have been built as part of the regeneration

Newly-built homes that have been part of the regeneration scheme

Newly-built homes that have been part of the regeneration scheme 

Residents living on the Craylands estate say it has become impossible to either move or sell up

Residents living on the Craylands estate say it has become impossible to either move or sell up

Aerial shot showing the Craylands Estate in Basildon, Essex

Aerial shot showing the Craylands Estate in Basildon, Essex 

Derelect buildings on the estate that will be demolished and redeveloped

Derelect buildings on the estate that will be demolished and redeveloped

‘It’s horrible here. The situation is appalling. There’s been security people but they have no power and they are scared of the people causing the problem in the first place.

‘It’s like living next to the Berlin Wall.’

She said local rumours circulated that the building work could be completed this month but she does not feel that will happen.

She added: ‘It’s beyond a joke now.’

Michael Sidebottom, 45, lives nearby and said it was like being a ‘prisoner’.

The engineer added: ‘It’s insane. How can you treat people like this?

‘You’ve got homes still being finished, many people not knowing what is going on, and people who are staying are living in the middle of it all.

Pictured: Derelict buildings cordoned off awaiting demolition

Pictured: Derelict buildings cordoned off awaiting demolition

Pictured: Rubbish dumped in an alleyway next to the development

Pictured: Rubbish dumped in an alleyway next to the development

On the left, a derelict building awaiting demolition but over the road are the newly built homes

On the left, a derelict building awaiting demolition but over the road are the newly built homes

Michael Sidebottom, 45, lives nearby and said it was like being a 'prisoner'

Michael Sidebottom, 45, lives nearby and said it was like being a ‘prisoner’

Pictured: Derelect buildings on the estate that will be demolished and redeveloped

Pictured: Derelect buildings on the estate that will be demolished and redeveloped

‘It’s constant machinery noise and building work but little progress.’

Another said: ‘It’s a shocking way to treat people in 2024.’

Keith Miller, 64, also lives next to some of the demolition work.

He said: ‘We’ve made numerous complaints to the local council and police about youths treating the site like a playground.

‘There have been all sorts of issues.’

Sanctuary Housing was approached for comment.

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