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Blackburn bedsit closed after a campaign by fed-up residents
FED-UP residents have successfully campaigned to close a bedsit occupied by people on bail.
Neighbours said they had suffered racist attacks, vandalism and anti-social behaviour from people linked to the multiple-occupancy property for six years.
Despairing Sunan Ali, who lives next door to the Cheltenham Road property in Blackburn, started a petition in January after feeling his repeated complaints to the Bail Accommodation and Support Service (BASS), Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and the police were being ignored.
Mr Ali, 31, said: “It’s just been awful living next to it.
“I’ve walked out of my house and seen used condoms, broken bottles, cans of beer in my garden. It’s like a nightmare. There have been fights in the streets and loud music playing all night.
“I have two children at primary school and their teachers called to tell me they’d been falling asleep in class. It was because they’d been up all night with the partying next door.”
After speaking to other neighbours, who shared similar experiences, Mr Ali began collecting signatures to petition the council into turning the house back to a single occupancy residence.
The petition was backed by Blackburn MP Jack Straw. He said: “I’m pleased with the decision to revert this property. It is in completely the wrong location and somewhere more sensible needs to be found to house these people.”
Jolan Gergely, head of BASS, which houses people on bail, said: “The local authority and police were fully consulted before the BASS service in Cheltenham Road opened. Police approved the property.
“We work with the neighbours of our properties who are always given contact details of BASS staff if they have any concerns or issues.
“Our Cheltenham Road property has been well run and has been there for a number of years. We regularly refresh our property portfolio and are consulting with the local authority and police on an alternative.”
Coun Maureen Bateson, executive member for regeneration, said the matter was due to raised at a council executive board meeting tomorrow.
She said: “We received a large number of complaints about this property, even before this petition. The house will be reverted back to a single occupancy household in the near future and the residents on bail will be rehomed somewhere in the North West.”
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