WHAT a mess... and we don’t just mean the rubbish strewn around the boarded-up homes.

The poor people still living in Beattie Avenue in Hereford are having a torrid time of it, afraid of the drug addicts, rats and burglars they fear are swarming the area.

And from our perspective it seems a relatively easy mess to have avoided.

The Herefordshire Housing Association plan to demolish 41 bungalows in the street and replace them with newer, better quality homes is not the issue, it’s the way it has been managed that raises eyebrows.

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The planning application was submitted in February 2018, yet over a year later it still hasn’t been decided.

That seems an extraordinary delay.

But worse still is the fact that tenants were moved out of their homes, and the properties boarded up, before approval had been granted for the demolition.

Was that sensible?

And ending up with a scheme that meant some residents were left in a partial ghost street was surely a foreseeable nightmare.

But the nightmare gets worse, because these poor people, who have had to put up with this hanging over their heads since the plan was first mooted back in 2017, now appear to have no idea when it will be sorted.

Large scale redevelopment projects involving rehousing and demolition are complex and understandably subject to hiccups and delays.

But this plan seems not to have been planned well enough.