A CONSULTATION is underway over plans to axe two sheltered housing schemes in Lawford and Walton.

Council officers met with residents last month to ask for their views and suggestions on the future of the dated Honeycroft and Spendells housing schemes, which were both built in the early 1960s.

The formal consultation was agreed by Tendring Council’s cabinet on Friday.

Tendring Council said the two sites have proved to be unpopular for several years due to their shared facilities and design and it is no longer economically viable for them to continue to be subsidised.

Paul Honeywood, cabinet member for housing, said that the ongoing and increasing revenue loss of rental income can no longer be sustained.

“We have been looking at both Honeycroft and Spendells for some time and we have been keeping the remaining residents informed of the situation at each step of the way,” he added.

“We are now going out to formal consultation as required and the outcome – along with more detailed costs of closure - will be reported back to Cabinet in due course for a final decision.”

A pot of £200,000 is being set aside to help residents through the whole process and officers have been asked to start preparing alternative accommodation for residents in the event that the decision to close is eventually taken.

The potential closure only involves the main building at Honeycroft – and not the bungalows which are 100 per cent occupied.

The consultation period will last for four weeks with a report back likely in the New Year.

Mr Honeywood said that Tendring Council has already met with Frinton and Walton Town Council over the Spendells site and it will be included in the consultation process so that they have a chance to respond.

Frinton and Walton Town Council mayor Robert Bucke said: "The town council - and everyone I know of - is very keen to ensure that Spendells stays open.

"We want to explore ways of making best use of that facility - whether that is a future for older people or younger people it remains to be seen.

"The people who are there want to stay where they are, by and large, but the district council doesn't seem to be able to let the ones that are empty."