In the suburbs of Southampton, encircled by lived-in housing, three blocks of ex-council flats lie empty and abandoned. The 428 flats were earmarked for demolition to make way for new homes in 2012, however some previous residents refusing to move out led to years of delays for the project.
The original plans for 675 new homes was due to be completed by 2023, however these planes have been adapted in the years of the project being stalled, and so far only 56 houses have been built. The project’s budget has been cut, and contractors have pulled out over the years, leaving the cluster of abandoned buildings remaining a scar in the local neighborhood.
Described as a “decade long disaster” by a local MP, the failing project has not only evicted people from their homes and left a massive eyesore in the area, but also led to antisocial behaviour such as fly tipping and cars being abandoned.
Though there are hundreds of abandoned flats across the three main blocks, we only gained access to one of the blocks, and only one flat within it.
The building had been taken over by pigeons, who had marked their territory well. Heading up the stairs, the external walkways were still lit in places, with remnants of past occupant’s belonging occasionally scattered about- washing lines, pegs and the odd bit of disposed furniture.
The one flat we did get in had obviously been used as a grow at some point (which is presumably why it was accessible). Presumably the rest of the dwellings would have been a carbon copy. Walking through the large block was quite creepy, especially with rumours of people still living there, and not wanting to disturb anyone who may be tending to their grow. Thankfully there was no one else around and no active cannabis farm on the site!
Last Updated on 22 January 2024 by Michael