Residents vow to fight

Ronnie Hobson, Glym millard and Mark Millard are some of the last residents left on the Girnhill Lane Estate in Featherstone,refusing to move despite a CPO by Wakefield council.
Ronnie Hobson, Glym millard and Mark Millard are some of the last residents left on the Girnhill Lane Estate in Featherstone,refusing to move despite a CPO by Wakefield council.
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DEFIANT residents on Featherstone’s near-derelict Girnhill Lane estate have vowed to keep fighting Wakefield Council’s plans to buy their homes.

The three remaining householders – Glyn Millard, Janet Greaves and Ronnie Hobson – were served with compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) last week by the local authority to make way for a new 233-home development.

But despite CPO threats, Mr Millard and Mrs Greaves say they will continue to fight and make their objections to the secretary of state for local communities, Eric Pickles.

Mr Millard, 58, said a new housing development on Girnhill Lane would back onto his other property on Nunn’s Court.

He added: “I’m definitely fighting it. I don’t see why they should have my house. They’ll effectively be building in my garden.

“We have tried to negotiate with them. I said I didn’t want to sell and the council said it would force us with CPOs.

“I’m very bitter towards it.”

Andrew Wallhead, corporate director for regeneration and economic growth said: “The CPO is a last resort but the time has come to move forward with the redevelopment.

“We hope that the remaining owners will now take advantage of the relocation package on offer and which has been accepted by the vast majority of the other owners and tenants.”

Last year Mrs Greaves – who has lived in Girnhill Lane with husband Percy and son, Danny since 1993 – said the council offered her £88,000 for their home and a loan of £50,000 towards to a new home, which would have to be repaid if they sold it in the future.

She told the Express last week she just wanted “like for like” – a home equivalent to the one she says she has spent thousands of pounds improving.

Mr Wallhead said: “We fully understand that this is a sensitive issue and we have always tried our best to find a solution that meets people’s needs. We remain committed to helping the remaining residents and our relocation offers and support are still on the table.

“The CPO is not a decision we have taken lightly but this redevelopment is absolutely essential, not just for Girnhill but to protect and improve the future of the whole Featherstone community.”