‘We will not be forced out’

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 Girnhill Lane estate are refusing to sell their homes despite “threats” from Wakefield Council that they will be forced out.

Two of the last three homeowners on the near-derelict estate say they will fight for their homes after the council’s cabinet last week decided that a compulsory purchase order (CPO) be endorsed to buy the final properties.

Private landlord, Glyn Milliard, said his home on Nunns Court shared the garden of the house he owns on Girnhill Lane, which he rents to his nephew, Mark.

He said: “When it all started the council said they were going to keep the community together. But they’re taking it off us with threats of CPOs and they’ve put plans in before getting the land.

“Where they will build houses is going to be smack in the middle of my garden. The plan is to oppose the CPO. It will cost money and go to court but then I can have my say.

“It’s not about the money. I want to keep it. My mum and dad left it to me, it’s sentimental. I want to build something on there.”

Janet Greaves, who has lived on the estate with her son and husband since 1993, said she will also fight the order.

She added: “The council hasn’t given me a deadline, but they’ve told me they will put in a CPO. It’s deal or no deal time. I won’t go without a fight. If they put a CPO in I’ll take them to the High Court if that’s what it takes.”

Mrs Greaves, 56, said the council had not offered her enough money to cover the amount she has spent improving her home over the last 18 years.

She said: “Put it like this, if they give me what I want they could have my house tomorrow. Not that I want to give it up. It’s cost me thousands, it was a shell when I took it on. I stripped it and did it room by room.

“I had a meeting with someone a few weeks ago and they said I should use my savings. Why should I? They want my house, they want my savings, they want me to downsize. There’s just nothing I can get for what they’re offering.

“I just want a house where I’ve got what I’ve got here. I think you should fight for what belongs to you. When I bought this it was forever, it was for my son. Why should the council be able to take my home from me?”

The council plans to plough millions of pounds into building 200 homes on the estate, which suffered in the 1990s from anti-social behaviour and crime.

Andrew Wallhead, council corporate director for regeneration, said the development of the estate was an “important aspect” in improving the area.

He said: “The council does understand the stress that moving house can have so is offering compensation to residents and is willing to cover relocation costs.”