Elderly residents of a sheltered housing complex in Weymouth say they are ‘living on their nerves’ – as the building’s owner persists with plans to demolish it and redevelop the site.

Residents of Southill’s Marchesi House – sheltered housing for the over 60s – were first notified of the planned demolition of their home nearly 18 months ago, in September of 2016.

With no sign of developments since then, and with no planning application submitted to the borough council, residents remain in limbo.

But Marchesi House’s owner, the Bournemouth Churches Housing Association, insists it has not abandoned plans to knock down the home and replace it with what it calls ‘a blend of mixed affordable properties’.

“BCHA is still looking at

proposals for the redevelop-

ment of Marchesi House and remains committed to providing affordable housing that will

meet increasing demand and benefit the local community,”

a spokesman said.

“BCHA is committed to ensuring that every single resident is supported as plans progress.”

The spokesman added that no timescale had been set for the proposals.

When the Echo visited Marchesi House, nobody from BCHA was present; residents said this was usual, and that representatives attend no more than once or twice a month. They also expressed anger over the uncertainty that continues to haunt the home.

Stephen Hairsine, 66 and a Marchesi House resident for the last four years, said a resolution was imperative. “As far as I’m concerned, the sooner [the plans go ahead] the better,” Mr Hairsine said.

Others concurred.

“We’re all living on our nerves because we just don’t know when [the building] is coming down,” said one woman, who asked not be named. “It’s the stress of not knowing when we are going.”

Another, who gave her name only as Barbara, said: “There’s been a total lack of communication. It’s not right to treat people like this.”

The residents also claimed that their flats were suffering ongoing problems with the heating. One man, who also asked not to be named, said: “People are having to wear their coats in their flats. They shouldn’t have to do that in this day and age.”

BCHA’s spokesman admitted that Marchesi House was experiencing an issue with the communal boiler.

“This has fortunately only affected a small number of flats,” he noted. “BCHA has responded immediately by offering alternative heating to every resident who requires it at no extra cost.”

But another resident hit out at BCHA, claiming the association ‘should never be running a place like this’.

He said: “They don’t like us because we rebel. They are just waiting for us to die.”

Gill Taylor, the deputy mayor of Weymouth and Portland, stressed that ‘the most important thing in this are the residents’,

“Residents need to be kept informed, and they need to be treated with respect,” she said.

“But housing associations are under great funding pressure, just like any other public body.”