Residents shocked to learn their homes are to be demolished

FAMILIES living near the A320 road-widening scheme in Woking have been shocked to find their homes are targeted for demolition as part of the project.

Residents of around 36 houses, in York Road, Bradfield Close and Waverley Court, were told in a “bland and curt” letter that they will have to move out because their properties are in a regeneration area.

Due for demolition – The house in York Road where George and Mary Shiels and their family have lived for 28 years

“It’s impossible to describe how absolutely devastated we were to be told by a few words in a formal letter, that we’re to lose our home of 28 years,” George Shiels, of 21 York Road, told the News & Mail.

Mr Shiels and his family have lived in the Edwardian semi-detached house since 1992. “There hadn’t previously been the slightest indication that demolition of our homes might be considered,” he added.

It is intended that six homes in York Road and 30 in neighbouring Bradfield Close and Waverley Court will be knocked down so that a new access can be created for the Day Aggregates yard alongside the railway lines. The yard entrance is currently next to Victoria Arch in Guildford Road, which is to be widened to a dual carriageway as part of a £115 million roads and housing scheme.

“A man carrying a clipboard knocked at the door and handed me the letter,” said Mr Shiels, a retired agronomist. “It gives us options to sell up and move, or move into one of the new, smaller houses or one of the apartments that are planned for the land.

“Having worked until I was in my 70s, I had hoped for time to enjoy retirement, not to have the stress of losing our home and the thought of having to find another house.”

TCCP managing director Henry Lamprecht said: “We wanted the homeowners to know at an early stage what is planned for the area, before they learned about it elsewhere. We have gone to a lot of effort to make personal contact to talk through the options.

“We have left letters and returned later to speak to people if necessary. There is no easy, 100 per cent, way of reaching everyone in one go. We can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week if the homeowners need help or advice.”

For the full story get the 6 February edition of the News & Mail

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