A GROUP of Southampton residents is urging the city council to take action as as soon as possible and complete a major scheme which is set to breathe new life into one of the city’s largest housing estates.

As previously reported, block of flats in Townhill Park are being demolished to make way for 665 new homes and a new public green space.

The project unveiled in 2012 was delayed due to the “complexity” of the site and the first 56 homes were completed in July this year.

But residents are now calling on Southampton City Council (SCC) to complete the scheme as soon as possible and start building new homes on plot two, which they claim has been empty for at least two years.

Residents who live in blocks of flats in the area are also urging the authority to give them a detailed and definite time scale and plan. They said the future of some of them is hanging in the balance.

Kim Ayling, a library assistant supervisor, said in 2017 she was told that she had to move out of her flat in 2019 but she was later informed that she won’t have to move out until 2023.

Ms Ayling, who is also chair of the residents group SO18 Big Local, said other families are in her same situation and feel their lives have been put on hold.

She added: “I feel depressed about it. You can’t plan properly.”

Ms Ayling said about 150 families have moved out of the estate over the past couple of years and residents fear that the sense of community is being lost.

She added:"The community is being diminished and it is not being replenished. We want a new definite masterplan with a definite time scale. We want action. Maybe they are doing it behind the scene, I am absolutely sure they are working really hard to get it done but we don’t know.”

Townhill Park resident Jo Proctor said it has become difficult to engage with the rest of the community as residents have been told they will have to move out.

“But then they are still here”, she added.

Ms Proctor is now calling on politicians from different parties to come together and ensure the scheme is delivered as soon as possible.

“We don’t want it to be a political football We want politicians in Southampton to come together. We want them to care about the people who are being affected,”she added.

Cllr Dan Fitzhenry, leader of the opposition party, said: “They said in June that they would have it [the plan] for September now they don’t have it yet. What we want is the the Townhill Park regeneration scheme to be delivered and We want to know what will be done and when will be done and that the council will take responsibility for getting on with it. What I want is people to have the new homes that they were promised and to know when they are going to be built. We will work with Cllr Kaur to ensure these houses but we are going to hold the council to account.”

Cllr Satvir Kaur, cabinet member for homes at SCC, said: “Since becoming the cabinet lead for housing last summer we have already seen new homes being built in Townhill Park. We of course want and are working to deliver this for the rest of the area. The intention is to start work on Plot 2 next year. SO18 Big Local are an amazing community asset whom we’ve been working with to engage and keep the local community updated on progress. I am not keen to turn this into a political football, as this does not benefit anyone, least of all residents. I have tried my level-best to deal with and resolve any specific issues that have been raised and we look forward to sharing our wider plans with local residents later this year.”

The council had previously said that the 665 homes will be built over the next eight years.