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Elderly to be forced out of homes as bungalows bulldozed

Elderly people will be forced out of their homes after controversial plans to demolish more than a dozen bungalows to make way for homes were given the green light.

Some of the bungalows on Second Avenue which will be bulldozed
Some of the bungalows on Second Avenue which will be bulldozed

Fourteen existing properties – which some have lived in for decades – will be bulldozed at Woodlands Road and Second Avenue in the Holmcroft area of Stafford.

Among those being evicted are 85-year-old Ida Bentley, who has lived in the bungalow for more than 18 years.

She said she cried when she first heard the news and is 'dead against it'.

"We're all old people along here, she said. "I've been here for years and there's nothing wrong with the bungalow so I don't see why we're being moved.

"I cried when they sent us the letter saying they were going to knock them down.

"We're moving to where the playing fields are and we'll be in a cul-de-sac. We'll have nothing to see. Nobody going past – that takes my day. When I'm cooking and I'm in the window and I can see everything going past.

"It is a shame for them to knock these down. What's wrong with them? We're all settled here."

Stafford and Rural Homes are behind the application which would see the bungalows make way for 40 homes.

Garage blocks at the back of the homes and a pair of semi-detached houses will also be bulldozed.

As part of the plans, the residents will be moved into new bungalows nearby.

Another resident, who didn't want to be named, said: "I'm very apprehensive about it. I know these houses have been here a long time and are past by their sell by date but they're home.

"A lot of people have been here a long time. Its a big thing to move people who are of a big age. "

Stafford Borough Council's planning committee gave the plans the go-ahead at a meeting on Wednesday night.

Councillor Jonathan Price who represents the area said at the meeting: "We are always short of social house in the borough so I'm very pleased about the plan.

"It's a very much needed scheme."

He added: "Some of the locals were a bit upset at the fact they would find themselves moving however Stafford and Rural Homes have been very good at liaising with them.

"The existing residents would be given priority over the new homes."

The proposal is for a 'two-phased' development to minimise disruption for existing residents faced with the prospect of moving into the new properties.

A total of 40 new dwellings for affordable rent will be built including 14 one bed bungalows, 12 two-bed houses, 12 three-bed and two four-bed.

Karen Armitage, chief executive of Stafford and Rural Homes commented: "The plans were submitted following extensive consultations with existing customers and the wider local community.

"The proposals have been met with widespread support as the new homes are of a much higher standard than the post-war properties they will replace. The development will also provide additional, and much needed, affordable homes for the Holmscroft area.

"Formal plans were only submitted to the council for approval once this thorough consultation had been completed and a re-allocation process was agreed with our customers.

"However, we understand that change can be difficult for some and we would urge customers with any outstanding concerns to get in touch with us to ensure they are allocated a property that best suits their needs."

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