Burnt and vandalised garages to be cleared

Garages which were damaged in an arson attack in January, in Evenlode, Banbury, are to be demolished. NNL-160809-160516001

Garages which were damaged in an arson attack in January, in Evenlode, Banbury, are to be demolished. NNL-160809-160516001

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Garages which were damaged in an arson attack earlier this year are to be demolished.

The block, which is at the end of Evenlode, in Banbury, was leftin a poor state of repair and has become the focus of fly-tipping and petty crime.

Garages which were damaged in an arson attack in January, in Evenlode, Banbury, are to be demolished. NNL-160809-160527001

Garages which were damaged in an arson attack in January, in Evenlode, Banbury, are to be demolished. NNL-160809-160527001

Residents have said following the fire, a ‘shoddy’ fence was put up and pieces of plywood were nailed over an open garage door, but both had been torn down by vandals.

As well as being a focus of anti-social behaviour, the garages have attracted rodents and street drinkers, who leave broken bottles behind, and have seen paint thrown at them.

In a letter to Sanctuary Housing, which owns the site, Thames Valley Police and Cherwell District Council, resident Alistair Myles, said: “Myself and other neighbours have swept up glass and re-erected the fence on numerous occasions but the situation really is getting to be beyond a joke now.

“It is very hard to remain in a positive frame of mind about living in an area when it looks and feels the way Evenlode does at the moment.

“Evenlode and the surrounding area is an area that has a lot of children living in it and is in close proximity to a large and expanding primary school. I find it astounding that a building and street is allowed to remain in this state given these surroundings.”

He added complaints had been made to Sanctuary Housing, but no response had been received.

Harjinder Lota, head of housing at Sanctuary Housing Services Limited, said: “Having looked carefully at all the options for this site, we have made the decision to demolish the garages damaged in the arson attack.

“We would like to assure residents that plans are well progressed and in the past few days work has started to clear and prepare the affected garages prior to demolition.

“We want to thank residents for their patience, and are confident the clean-up and demolition will make a significant difference to the area.”

Mr Myles said: “We are happy to see that work has begun on clearing up and making the buildings safer.

“I think there is a definite sense of relief in the neighbourhood that something is, at last, being done and we’re all looking forward to see what happens next.”