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We live in the UK’s cheapest village where our house prices are plummeting and there is nothing we can do to stop it – here’s why


Locals living in the cheapest village in Britain claim they are helpless to stop house prices falling because crime is so rife in the area.

Properties in Sulgrave, located eight miles south of Newcastle, recently plummeted by 53.5 percent. 

Startling figures showed the average property price plunged from £73,270 to £34,074 in the last year.

Residents say crime in the area is the main cause and even claimed incidents have got so frequent a local flat’s living room is used by police as a holding cell.

Others claim that young families are forced to regularly dodge used needles in the park and police patrols are a constant.

Within the suburb, which is part of Washington, a housing estate made up of Neville Court, Collingwood Court and Waterloo Court causes a litany of trouble in the area.

One man told MailOnline: ‘It’s horrendous over there. It’s absolutely horrible. If a bomb was dropped on it I don’t think anyone would care, apart from the people who live there.’

Fly-tipped rubbish is strewn across communal spaces in Sulgrave, a suburb of Washington

Fly-tipped rubbish is strewn across communal spaces in Sulgrave, a suburb of Washington 

Property prices in the area plummeted by more than 50 percent over the last 12 months, analysis shows

Property prices in the area plummeted by more than 50 percent over the last 12 months, analysis shows 

Waterloo Court in Sulgrave where locals complain of constant crime and anti-social behaviour

Waterloo Court in Sulgrave where locals complain of constant crime and anti-social behaviour 

The crime-ridden compound of flats is covered with large metal gates and spiked rails, which neighbours have compared to a “prison”.

Fly-tipped rubbish is strewn across communal spaces and a number of windows and doors can be seen to be boarded up with signs warning of CCTV.

Jessica Kitchin, 28, has lived in Sulgrave her whole life. The Asda worker said she worries for her child’s safety after discovering needles in their local park.

She said: ‘There’s always something going on, there are always some sort of sirens going off.

‘There’s a large police presence around here. I’ve seen needles on the path and needles in the park.

‘As a parent, it makes you worry. I don’t want my child to be playing where there are discarded needles or drug users.

‘Someone jumped – or was pushed – off the bridge nearby, things like that are always happening.

‘We live in my dad’s house and we’re saving up to move away eventually. The homes are cheap, I think there are a lot of landlords that own a number of flats and rent them out.’

Her partner, Zachary Hallowell, 28, moved to the area five years ago from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside.

The Sainsbury’s worker added: ‘There was an explosion in the block of flats a while back, I think the guy was trying to steal his neighbour’s electricity or gas.

Locals have different views on how bad crime is in Sulgrave. Pictured (John Webster, 69, a retired trainee store manager)

Locals have different views on how bad crime is in Sulgrave. Pictured (John Webster, 69, a retired trainee store manager)

Some locals have compared Neville Court, Collingwood Court and Waterloo Court to a prison

Some locals have compared Neville Court, Collingwood Court and Waterloo Court to a prison 

Spikes can be seen on the walls which surround the Neville Court, Collingwood Court and Waterloo Court complex

Spikes can be seen on the walls which surround the Neville Court, Collingwood Court and Waterloo Court complex

‘A Christmas tree in one of the houses behind ours was set alight last month.

‘The block of flats looks like a prison, it’s covered in a big metal fence and barbed wire.’

One anonymous resident, who lives one street away from the ramshackle apartment complex, said: ‘I wouldn’t want to live in there. I was told the police use one of the flats as a holding cell because there’s so much crime but I don’t know how true that is.

‘You see a lot of police cars patrolling the streets or attending to something.

‘It’s horrendous over there. It’s absolutely horrible. If a bomb was dropped on it I don’t think anyone would care, apart from the people who live there.

‘I have two giant trees in my garden so I don’t have to look out onto the eyesore.’

However, the father claims the surrounding Sulgrave village is a nice place to live.

He added: ‘Some of the flats are only £350 a month to rent out so it is cheap. Apart from the flats, it is a nice area to live. 

‘I’ve lived here for 13 years. My son, 12, plays in the street with the other kids and you get to know the parents.

Mum-of-two Angel Kent (pictured) moved into a three-bed council house in Sulgrave nine months ago and pays just over £400 per month in rent

Mum-of-two Angel Kent (pictured) moved into a three-bed council house in Sulgrave nine months ago and pays just over £400 per month in rent

‘A lot of people own their own homes and have been here for years.’

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, added: ‘I pay £400 for rent but I’m trying to move as fast as I can.

‘I broke up with my partner in November and was living in hotels, I found this because it was cheap. My neighbours door is always bashed in. It’s awful.’

However, others claim they wouldn’t dream of living anywhere other than the inexpensive village.

Mum-of-two Angel Kent moved into a three-bed council house nine months ago and pays just over £400 per month in rent.

The 23-year-old said: ‘There are some people who have been released from prison and live in the apartment complex but they stick to themselves and don’t cause you any bother.

‘They actually ask if you want hello with the pram and always say hi.

‘My uncle lives over there and they’re nice, if he asks them to turn their music down they do.

The private apartment complex is made up of Neville Court, Collingwood Court and Waterloo Court and is surrounded by cast iron fences with spikes on the top (pictured)

The private apartment complex is made up of Neville Court, Collingwood Court and Waterloo Court and is surrounded by cast iron fences with spikes on the top (pictured)

Crime figures for Washington show the Concord and Sulgrave area had the highest number of incidents in 2022 (flats in the Waterloo Walk area)

Crime figures for Washington show the Concord and Sulgrave area had the highest number of incidents in 2022 (flats in the Waterloo Walk area)

‘I used to knock about here as a teenager and nothing happened then either.

‘For a long time, it didn’t have a community feel but it’s starting to get that back. There are soft plays and things for the kids opening up.

‘You’re near to a high street and other amenities. I have a lot of family close by.

‘People stay here because it’s friendly, family are close by and it’s cheap. There are also two schools in the area so it’s great for families.’

Ken Pringle purchased a spacious two-bedroomed flat in Collingwood Court that spans over two floors for just £33,000 back in 2022.

The 65-year-old even has a large garage outside for storage. The plant operator said: ‘It looks rough but it’s nice.

‘I can’t complain about the price, it was only £33k. I used to live in London and Middlesex and you would never get a flat like this for that amount down there.

‘It has a bad reputation because of drug use but that happens everywhere. When you’re in your flat and close the door, it’s peaceful.

‘There’s loads of space on the complex and there’s even a games room with a pool table to keep kids out of trouble.

‘I absolutely love living here. I’m here for the long haul, I won’t be moving again.

‘It’s a brilliant place to live, you’re close to a retail park, shopping centre and public transport. You’re in between Sunderland and Newcastle.

‘It was state of the art when it was build in the 60’s.’

John Webster, 69, a retired trainee store manager said: ‘There is a community feel, I’ve lived here for 25 years.

Ken Pringle purchased a spacious two-bedroomed flat in Sulgrave that spans over two floors for just £33k back in 2022

Ken Pringle purchased a spacious two-bedroomed flat in Sulgrave that spans over two floors for just £33k back in 2022

The average property price for Sulgrave plunged from £73,270 to £34,074 in the last year

The average property price for Sulgrave plunged from £73,270 to £34,074 in the last year 

There are also a number of signs warning of CCTV as you enter the complex in Sulgrave

There are also a number of signs warning of CCTV as you enter the complex in Sulgrave

‘I get a pensioners discount on rent and it’s very cheap. It’s a nice place to live, it’s peaceful – but I wouldn’t want to live in the flats.’

One pensioner, 69, a retired civil servant who has lived in the village for 39 years, said: ‘We first moved into the flats in the 80’s because they were ex-council and were selling them off quite cheap.

‘It had a really great community feel but a lot of people moved away. We moved just outside of the complex into our home.

‘There is some anti-social behaviour from inside the flats but the crime doesn’t usually spill into the rest of the village it’s contained in the complex.

‘It’s like a community within a community. There are police cars there quite often.

‘Our house was a bit more expensive than the average but it’s still a cheap place to buy.’

The latest crime figures for Washington show the Concord and Sulgrave area had the highest number of incidents in 2022 with 1,154 offences recorded.

The figures noted Concord and Sulgrave was the most dangerous neighbourhood in Washington for burglary, drug and public order offences as well as vehicle crime and violent and sexual offences. 

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: ‘We understand the corrosive and harmful impact that anti-social behaviour committed by a minority of individuals can have on the communities which we serve.

‘We carry out regular patrols to help reduce anti-social behaviour and disorder in the Sulgrave area and will continue to do so.

‘We are also involved in the Sulgrave Project, in which officers and representatives from our partner organisations regularly meet to discuss any issues affecting the area and how we can best tackle them.

‘As always, we take a proactive approach to tackling criminality of any kind and do our utmost to ensure that those responsible are identified and appropriately dealt with.

‘Anyone who is a victim of a crime or spots something suspicious in their community should inform us using the ‘Report’ page of our website or by calling 101.’



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