One resident remains on eerie empty street as development looms

A West Midlands street remains an eerie wasteland with no work started at all over the past year, despite most residents having moved out of the area.

Gildas Avenue is virtually deserted, with rubbish piling up on the road. Photo: LDRS
Gildas Avenue is virtually deserted, with rubbish piling up on the road. Photo: LDRS

Carl Harris has long been and remains the last resident on a stretch of Gildas Avenue in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham which is set to become transformed into new housing.

But the 64-year-old has been holding out on moving because he says the offer he has received from the city council is not enough for him to be able to afford a similar property with parking in the area.

The council is now offering £155,000, he says, but with house prices going up, he says he needs significantly more to be able to afford an appropriate replacement locally.

The majority of people in the area moved out more than three years ago, with some areas of the estate subsequently demolished to make way for the new development.

But no more progress has yet been made on the development. Streets remain deserted and overgrown.

The proposed plan is the final part of a plan for 1,000 new homes on the former Primrose and Pool Farm Estate begun in 2007.

Shuttered-up flats on Barratts Road, round the corner from Gildas Avenue. Photo: LDRS

It covers 117 homes at three sites, Barratts Road, Bentmead Grove and Gildas Avenue which, at one point, was beleaguered by crime problems when former housing at the site was left empty.

Gildas Avenue, which has now seen much of the former housing demolished to make way for the new development, is planned to have 74 new two to eight-person houses.

A mix of bungalows and two-storey houses will be retained on the 2.87 hectare site.

The Barratts Road site is proposed to have 28 homes while the Bentmead Grove site would have 15 homes. The plans include 206 car parking spaces.

Mr Harris said: "They have been very inflexible. The council won’t pay removal costs out of Birmingham. Considering that they want me to move, I think they should be a bit more flexible.

"If the house is not mine outright, I am restricted in what I can do. With all the homelessness, I did consider renting out a room to somebody. I possibly wouldn’t be able to do that under their proposal.

"The situation I am in is not of my making. I have put quite a few options to them – they want me to bend to suit them."

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