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'Losing my home will kill me'

An 85-year-old man who beat cancer says it will kill him if his home is bulldozed to make way for Spalding Western Relief Road.

Widower Don Churchman is among shocked Bourne Road residents reeling from bombshell news that up to nine homes could be flattened.

Some found out at county council information events held in Spalding last week.

Don Churchman (85) says it will kill him if his house is knocked down. (7301543)
Don Churchman (85) says it will kill him if his house is knocked down. (7301543)

Others - including Don - didn't know until Saturday when county and district councillor Angela Newton alerted them and dropped leaflets through their letter boxes.

Don said: "I think if they knocked this down, it is going to be the end of me. I think it will kill me. I don't think I could stand it any longer if I had to move out."

Neighbours Frank and Catherine Roberts made a joint statement: "We designed and built our house as a 'lifetime home' and over the years have adapted this for our lifestyle - to see a bulldozer go through this family home would literally destroy us both."

Residents want to know why the county council didn't contact them personally about the threat to their homes.

Several have spent thousands improving their properties - and believe their investment is now worthless.

Among homes threatened are a pair of newly built semi-detached houses that have been occupied for around18 months.

In 2014 - and still in 2015 - the preferred route for the relief road left Bourne Road homes untouched, with the route running through allotments in Horsehoe Road.

The county council blames unspecified engineering difficulties for axing that route but Coun Newton - who staged a public meeting last night - wants it reinstated.

Residents want to know why they were kept in the dark and why they weren't personally informed about two new route options that intersect Bourne Road.

The county council executive member for highways, Coun Richard Davies, said: "I'm extremely sorry for the distress this situation has caused, and will be asking the project team to explain why they didn't contact affected residents directly beforehand.

"We did publicise the drop-in events extensively, distributing over 14,000 leaflets and placing a range of adverts, but clearly we should have done more."

* None of the Bourne residents we spoke to received council leaflets.

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