A FAMILY of eight living in a three-bedroom house has been told there is no prospect of being moved to a bigger property any time soon.

Ex-soldier Simon Pennell, 32, and his partner, Kelly Tyler, 37, have six children, aged three to 16.

They say their cramped living conditions are making it impossible for eldest son Ryan to study for his GCSEs and they are desperate to be rehomed.

But housing bosses say they do not have enough council properties big enough for the family.

Colchester Council plans to cut the housing shortage by building social housing but until then, families, like Mr Pennell and Miss Tyler, have to live in cramped conditions.

Mr Pennell, of Affleck Road, Greenstead, Colchester, said: “We understand there are not many council properties available and we have been as patient as possible, but we have been waiting seven years now and the situation has been desperate for a long time.

“I’ve worked all my life since I finished school and I pay my taxes. But at Christmas, I was made redundant and even with the wages I was earning, I could never get enough to pay the rent on the four or five-bedroom house we need.

“We are so tired of waiting and it’s having a real impact on the kids.

“It just seems like the council has written us off.”

The couple’s three-year-old son, Dolton, is sleeping in their bedroom.

Chelsea, 16, Holly, eight, and Phoebe, nine, share one room and the two boys, Ryan, 15, and Cameron, seven, share another.

Karen Loweman, director of housing at Colchester Borough Homes, said: “This family is living in a council home with three bedrooms, which they are finding too small for them.

“We understand their desire to move. The family has applied for a larger, more suitable home.

“The council has given the move the highest priority.

“However, there are only a relatively small number of council homes in Colchester which are suitable for a family with six children.”