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MP 'outraged' by council blunder on Spalding homes demolition threat

MP Sir John Hayes is outraged by a county council blunder when it failed to forewarn Spalding residents that their homes could be demolished.

Up to nine Bourne Road homes could be bulldozed to make way for the middle section of Spalding Western Relief Road.

The first some home owners knew came at a series of drop in sessions starting on February 12.

Outraged: South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes.
Outraged: South Holland and The Deepings MP John Hayes.

But most found out because district and county councillor Angela Newton warned them by dropping leaflets through their letter boxes on February 16.

Sir John has written a strongly worded letter to county council highways executive member Coun Richard Davies seeking answers.

The MP told the Spalding Guardian that everyone whose home is directly affected should have been told personally.

He said: “How they are going to justify not letting people know their house is going to be demolished I would be very interested to know.

“To turn up to a meeting and find your house is going to be demolished isn’t appropriate.

“If I lived up Bourne Road I would be outraged and therefore I am outraged on behalf of the people who do.”

The MP has also signalled his readiness to involve Government ministers in the decision making on the road.

He said: “If it’s not in keeping with local people’s wishes I will be more than happy to involve Government ministers in taking a view."

The MP says his choice would be to look at the original preferred route - which didn't involve knocking down houses - but also believes tunnelling, as Crossrail did under hundreds and hundreds of London properties, could be an option.

He said: "If the choice is preserving or enhancing our environment or people's wellbeing - or spending some extra money - we have got to get into the mindset and spend the extra money."

Coun Davies has already apologised for the council failure to notify residents and said he would ask the project team to explain.

Our first story on the threat to Bourne Road homes featured resident Don Churchman (85), who said losing his home would kill him.

We also published two reports from a public meeting called by Coun Newton - and you can read those by clicking here and here.

Bourne Road resident Catherine Roberts has appealed to people across Spalding to take part in a council questionnaire (the deadline for responses is Friday, March 8).

A few days ago residents received hand-delivered letters inviting them to their first formal talks with the county council, which will be held on April 1 and 2, some seven weeks after they learned the bombshell news.


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