Access blow to estate

Last residents on the former Girnhill Lane estate fighting council over an order to completely block off all access to their properties. Glyn Millard and his grandson are concerned that no emergency services will be able to reach them if needed, and are preparing to fight the closure order.'p8087a211
Last residents on the former Girnhill Lane estate fighting council over an order to completely block off all access to their properties. Glyn Millard and his grandson are concerned that no emergency services will be able to reach them if needed, and are preparing to fight the closure order.'p8087a211

TWO of the remaining householders on a near-derelict Featherstone housing estate have been dealt another blow as developers move to seal off an access road to their homes.

Glyn Millard and Ronnie Hobson – whose houses on Ashcroft Avenue on the town’s Girnhill Lane estate are earmarked for demolition – face being trapped on the estate if an order made by developers Strata Homes to block access to the houses is successful.

Both Mr Millard and Mr Hobson – who are fighting compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) made by Wakefield Council – say nearby Hawthorne Avenue is the last remaining road to their homes and plans to close it will mean they can only access their properties on foot.

Mr Millard, 58, said: “It’s just unbelievable what they’re proposing to do. They’re prepared to block the road up to force us out and if they do it fire engines won’t be able to get through and ambulances won’t be able to get in.

“We’re already having problems with the post and not getting mail. You can’t blame the postman, the road says it’s closed.”

Strata Homes has applied for an order to “stop up” the whole of Ashcroft Road, Ashcroft Avenue, Hawthorne Avenue, Went Avenue and Went Grove to make way for 233 new houses on the estate.

Wakefield Council says the developer is required to apply to close existing roads when new development will replace the current road layout and no work on the redevelopment process will begin until the CPO process has concluded.

The council confirmed road closures would be staggered to ensure access to remaining homes.

Andy Wallhead, corporate director for regeneration and economic growth, said: “Strata Homes has submitted the road closure order as part of preparing for the redevelopment work.

“This application forms part of the proposed redevelopment following its successful planning application. It is not in any way connected to the CPO.”

All three remaining homeowners – Mr Millard, Mr Hobson and Janet Greaves, who is unaffacted by the road closure plans – were served with CPOs last month.

They are making their objections to the secretary of state for local communities, Eric Pickles, who will receive the order this month.

Mr Millard said: “I’m very bitter and angry about this. I’m just going to fight it to the end so we have put it in the barrister’s hands to appeal.”