Neighbours of Britain's first IKEA estate, known as BoKlok, are up in arms over what they call an "eyesore" that's brought rats and vandalism to their area.
The disgruntled locals, who live on the Brook in Bristol, claim the new buildings invade their privacy and have become a hotspot for anti-social behaviour. Retiree Frederick Truckle, 71, who lives nearby, expressed his disgust.
He said: "I keep my hedges up because they can see in my garden – it's disgusting. Without that I'd be looking in their windows all the time, and they'd be looking into mine. It's terrible. It's an eyesore."
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Supermarket worker Jackie Bowey, 61, also a local resident, was equally upset, raigng: "I saw the plans at the BoKlok office in 2021 and they were totally different. When they said they were building them, the plans showed that the houses wouldn't be facing us – that it would be brick – so when they started building I contacted them and said it's not on because you said they wouldn't be facing us.
The IKEA homes, built in partnership with construction firm Skanska, are located on the busy A4174 road, on the outskirts of Knowle West, which is one of the city's more deprived areas. Residents around the housebuilding project have also complained of noise pollution, dust, and an increase of rats.
Construction work is still being carried out at the site, although all the houses now seem to be in place. The houses are not built from scratch on site but are usually delivered in two parts.
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Building work began on the project in 2020 but was hit by delays. Developers even had to put people who had paid sizeable deposits in Airbnbs while they waited for the work to be finished.
A spokesman for BoKlok added: "All homes at BoKlok on the Brook have been delivered as per our planning consent. We appreciate that a housing scheme still under development from time to time may cause inconvenience for existing residents and neighbours, however we are working with third-party contractors to complete all works required for the benefit of all residents as well as those who are moving in during the final build phase. Our aftercare team is committed to supporting our customers and have rectified snagging defects within the reporting times allocation.
"If there are any customers who have a specific concern, which they do not feel has been sufficiently addressed, we would always urge them to contact our customer care team direct – whose details have been provided."
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