A LONG awaited housing development to turn a derelict former school site, likened to war torn Grozny, into a block of flats should start next week.

Work to transform the run down former Harwich Primary School site into 39 flats is believed to start within days. 

Mr McCann, of Eastward Properties, said: “Work is due to start next week.

“It’s taken years, the global economic situation has been the key issue and the cost of building 40 apartments is very high.”

The development has been in the pipeline since April 2008 but was delayed due to the recession and unsuccessful planning applications.

In May 2008 a fire tore through the Victorian building of the former Harwich Primary School leaving the building a charred wreck.

Residents and councillors welcomed the news saying the current site was an eyesore.

Labour councillor Ivan Henderson said: “This is really good news because this has been a long standing eyesore and a problem for all the residents.

Hugh Tisdale, of the Harwich Town Residents’ Association, said the site resembled war torn Chechen capital, Grozny.

He said: “I’ll be glad it no longer looks like something from Grozny – it’s a bombsite at the moment.

“We are glad it will now be turned into something else although it’s a shame it’s more flats."