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Abandoned ‘ghost town’ estate built for NHS staff to be turned into 135 new council homes: Locals say crime-ridden site was becoming a ‘warzone’ after being overrun by fly-tippers and vandals


A ‘ghost town’ housing estate originally built for NHS staff is set to become the site of 135 new council homes four years on from being ‘left to rot’.

Hospital Close, in Evington, Leicester, became a crime-ridden hotspot for fly-tippers, vandals and drug dealers after it was left abandoned in 2019.

The site, which sits in the shadow of Leicester General Hospital, was earmarked for a £17m redevelopment after being purchased by Leicester City Council in 2021.

But locals have since been complaining about antisocial behaviour blighting the area leaving many feeling too unsafe to leave their homes.

They accused the local authority of ‘neglecting’ the remaining residents living there – and allowing the neighbourhood to descend into ‘a warzone’.

Hospital Close, Leicester, a derelict NHS housing estate, which has now fallen into disrepair since NHS workers and their families left in 2019

Hospital Close, Leicester, a derelict NHS housing estate, which has now fallen into disrepair since NHS workers and their families left in 2019

Locals accused the local authority of 'neglecting' the remaining residents living there - and allowing the neighbourhood to descend into 'a warzone

Locals accused the local authority of ‘neglecting’ the remaining residents living there – and allowing the neighbourhood to descend into ‘a warzone

The site, which sits in the shadow of Leicester General Hospital, was earmarked for a £17m redevelopment after being purchased by Leicester City Council in 2021

The site, which sits in the shadow of Leicester General Hospital, was earmarked for a £17m redevelopment after being purchased by Leicester City Council in 2021

It has now emerged the plans to bring the abandoned streets back into use have finally taken a step forward after proposals for 135 new homes were approved.

But people still living on the estate have questioned why it has taken so long to address the problem which made their lives ‘hell’.

Nearby resident Ashley Lewis, 33, said: ‘I’m glad the plans have taken a step forward but its taken far too long.

‘The council have dragged their heels over it and in the meantime, the area has just turned into a warzone. It’s been hell living here.

‘When they bought it, surely it becomes their responsibility, but they’ve just neglected the needs of the remaining residents there.’

Four years ago University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust decided it could not afford to maintain the homes or upgrade them to modern standards.

The Trust issued eviction notices to hospital staff and health workers, including many nurses, living in the properties were forced to move out.

Since then, the remaining residents say they have been ‘forgotten about’ as the estate has also now become a hotspot for fly-tipping and other antisocial behaviour.

Asley added: ‘It used to be a thriving little community of NHS staff and their families. It’s gone from having these angels and life-savers to drug dealers and thugs.

‘As people know its derelict you get people using and selling drugs, boy racers using it as a track and I don’t even walk over that way anymore.

‘The fly-tipping is just constant, one thing will get dumped and once that’s cleared another load will replace it. It’s just really sad to see.’

Grandfather-of-two Terry Goldsmith, 69, who also lives nearby, said previously: ‘The place has just been left to rot and its a real shame.

The estate, which locals say has fallen to rack and ruin, will be transformed into council housing

The estate, which locals say has fallen to rack and ruin, will be transformed into council housing

The site was formerly used to house NHS workers as well as hospital administrative offices

The site was formerly used to house NHS workers as well as hospital administrative offices

‘You’ve got the hospital right next to it so it was a perfect place for staff to live. I’ve lived her 45 years and it was also quite a nice place to be.

‘But now it looks like a warzone, the whole place is boarded up and a complete mess.’

When asked why it had taken more than two years for the plans to be approved, a council spokesperson told the BBC the scheme was ‘ambitious and complex’.

They added: ‘A lot of preparatory work has already been done, including new roofs, drainage surveys and asbestos removal.

‘With planning permission now in place, a contractor will be appointed in the coming weeks with major work expected to get under way in the summer.

‘We expect the first new homes to be ready to welcome tenants by the end of the year.’

  • Do YOU live on the estate? Email stewart.carr@mailonline.co.uk 



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