Eviction fears as new road is built in Hucknall

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A young Hucknall couple given a month to vacate their home before it is demolished say they have been unable to find a new place to live.

Last month the 28-year-old woman and her partner were told by Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) they had four weeks to find new accomodation before their home on Woollaton Street was knocked down to make way for a new road linking Annesley Road directly with Station Road

But this week NCC agreed to extend the notice period until mid-May and will contact Ashfield District Council (ADC) to discuss the tenants’ options.

The pair, who prefer to remain anonymous, are both employed and say private rents are either unaffordable, or landlords will not accept their pet Jack Russell Terrier.

The woman, who works for a high street pharmacist, told the Dispatch: “We have been given four weeks’ notice to move out. But I can’t jump into somewhere that I can’t afford. We are under so much stress everyday that passes to find somewhere to live.

“We think ADC’s policy stinks. Just because we’re both working and not deemed as high priority. At the end of the day we have looked at private rented but nothing has come up and it is impossible to fork out £1,500 to move out as well as continue to pay for this place.

“We are just angry at the fact we both work and pay our taxes. Why shouldn’t we get any help?”

The couple moved into the house in 2012 as private tenants of NCC and were aware that the houses would be needed for the new road scheme,

Although they are bidding for a new home on ADC’s website, they are not classed as priority cases, and say they face a long wait to be rehoused.

Kelly Scott, director of ADC’s Housing Services, said their application has been assessed in accordance with council policy. She said: “Officers will continue to advise and assist them to help them meet their housing needs. In the meantime, a referral has also been made to ADC’s Housing Options service for help with their immediate needs as there are a wide variety of housing providers in the Ashfield and Mansfield area who may be able to assist.”

Six houses in Woollaton Street, three of them unoccupied, will be demolished later this year to make way for the new single 450m long carriageway road running parallel to the High Street.

Planning permission was granted in December 2013 and since then NCC have bought properties in Hucknall to make way for the new road, which is part of the town improvement scheme and will see part of the High Street pedestrianised.

Mike Barnett, team manager for major projects at NCC, said: “In the intervening period, rather than leave them empty or to fall into disrepair, we took the view that we would rent out the houses on a short-term basis.

“On receiving the final go-ahead in February, we sent out letters advising tenants that their leases would be coming to an end, as per their original agreements, and to give them an opportunity to seek alternative accommodation.

“After recent contact with some of the tenants, however, the county council has agreed to extend the notice period until mid-May and will contact ADC to discuss the tenants’ options.“