HEREFORDSHIRE Housing tenants say they live in constant fear of burglars, drug addicts and rats after many of the properties on their street were boarded up.

Most of the prefab bungalows along Beattie Avenue in Hereford have been vacated ahead of proposals to demolish the 41 properties and replace them with 71 homes.

But those living in the remaining 14 properties say their ‘fabulous community’ now feels more like a street in Beirut.

Julie Dutton, 61, said: “It’s absolutely terrible.

“We are all anxious and so depressed. We have been waiting for more than two years.

“It was the best road. We would look out for each other’s houses making sure everyone was all right. It was a quiet road but it’s like Beirut now.

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“People have been getting into gardens at 2am in the morning and a young couple who were drug users were sleeping in the abandoned sheds.”

Neighbour Les Hyde, 74, said there was a growing sense of insecurity in the area.

“They spent all this money boarding the homes up and now they’ve found kids are going in there and ripping up the boards,” he said.

“It’s turned into an adventure ground for the idiots.

“If you’ve got people like that sleeping in empty sheds

“They are obviously people with a habit that needs to be fed.

“Are we going to become the target?”

Mrs Dutton also said rats had moved into the neighbourhood after the properties were emptied.

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“You can hear them burrowing under the properties at night.

“It’s all since the closed properties.”

One of the biggest frustrations with residents is the feeling that their lives have been put on hold while they await new housing.

Mr Hyde said: “The initial plan was that the bottom part of the development would be finished by 2020.

“From the moment we were told these properties were coming down, the home has become temporary for us.

“If you look at the Herefordshire housing website the scheme was put on in 2017 and the completion time is 2020.

“When you complain all they do is just tell you what you want to hear.”

A Herefordshire Housing spokesperson said: “The large-scale transformation of Beattie Avenue into providing more high-quality affordable homes for the people of Hereford has unfortunately experienced delays.

“Our teams are making even more frequent visits to the area, keeping residents informed and responding to any concerns raised.”