Resident will ‘fight for home’

Janet Greaves is still vowing to fight a CPO to knock down her house at 78 Girnhill Lane
Janet Greaves is still vowing to fight a CPO to knock down her house at 78 Girnhill Lane

NEGOTIATIONS to buy the last houses on a derelict Featherstone estate have failed to convince a defiant resident to give up her home.

Janet Greaves – one of the last people to sell her Girnhill Lane property to Wakefield Council – is facing the threat of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) which will allow local authority chiefs to buy her home without her consent.

Mrs Greaves, who has lived on the estate since 1993, said she will fight the order because the council is not offering her what her house is worth.

She said: “I’m sticking it out and listening to my barrister. If they want my house they can pay for it. I’m not moving.

“At the end of the day, I will fight. If it means me losing my house, I will risk that. The ball is in their court.

“They’ve offered me around £100,000 plus £50,000 extra, but this is like a loan. If I decided to sell or died, they’re actually making money because the council part owns the property. I’m not doing that.”

The council confirmed it had offered a £50,000 relocation package, plus the full market value of the property, an additional compensation payment of ten per cent of the property’s value, along with £500 moving costs and payment of all legal costs.

The relocation package is made up of a grant and an equity loan. The grant portion – £15,000 – is only repaid if the property is sold again within three years and a £35,000 loan is being offered which is repaid when the property is sold in the future.

Andrew Wallhead, corporate director for regeneration and economic growth said: “The financial support we are offering has been set up to ensure that anyone who relocates is not financially worse off as a result of the move.

“When we put together the support packages we have to make sure that our financial help does not enable anyone to profit from taxpayers’ money as this would be illegal.

“We have helped more than 30 homeowners to successfully relocate without any additional financial burden and our offer is still on the table for the remaining residents.”

He added: “Sadly, a settlement has not yet been possible and we now expect to make the formal CPO during November.

“The CPO is not a decision we have taken lightly but this redevelopment is absolutely essential to the future of Featherstone.”

The council this week accepted an £8m grant from the government’s Regional Growth Fund – £770,000 of which will go towards building new homes on Girnhill Lane.

Council chiefs approved a recommendation at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to secure the funding from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to complete the housing regenerating programme in Featherstone.