October 21, 2019 12.21 pm This story is over 32 months old

“Council thinks we’ll be dead before it’s built”: The long wait before road ploughs through homes

“Saying it could be 10 years implies they think we’ll be dead”

Residents facing the demolition of their homes to make way for a new relief road have said a potential 10-year-wait implies Lincolnshire County Council thinks they “will be dead” before it starts.

The authority last week confirmed its preferred route for the Central section of the £100 million Spalding Western Relief Road, however, the scheme will continue to cut through five homes while four others will also be at risk.

Councillor Richard Davies confirmed the executive were due to consider final recommendations in January.

He added it “could potentially be a decade or more before we start building this section of the relief road”.

The route recommended by Lincolnshire County Council for the central section of the Spalding Relief Road.

However, that failed to reassure Catherine Roberts and husband Frank, whose “forever home” on Bourne Road is one of those facing demolition.

The couple, who spent £300,000 to build their mock Tudor property 20 years ago and thousands more since, say they are “absolutely shell shocked” by the news – which comes after a “summer from hell”.

“Saying it could be 10 years implies they think we’ll be dead before they can do it,” said Catherine.

“We can’t sit in our property for 10 years waiting for the day a letter saying your house is going to be taken away from you.”

She added there were further fears that if residents did decide to move prior to the build they would get even less money.

In its appraisal, the council has suggested three options to go before committee on Monday, December 9 including a route through nearby allotments (£50 million), the “central” route through Bourne Road (£39 million) and one through the Trojan Wood furniture company to the west (£45 million).

Visuals for the road design

It says bulldozing the homes would cost them £1.25 million, while the Trojan Wood site would result in a compulsory purchase order of £4.5 million.

However, Catherine and other campaigners from the Spalding Against Relief Road campaign have queried the figures – which split to £250,000 for each of the five houses, or £189,000 if all nine were affected.

They have called for the council to reveal its working out.

In the meantime, Catherine says she does not know at the moment where to go.

“We’re being made out to be trouble makers, and we’re paying for it,” she said.

Some of the houses the route could go through. Photo: Daniel Jaines

If she had to move, she said she may leave the area, because she did not want to travel the road where her house had sat, but would not leave South Holland.

“We are paying for our own demise. By paying for our council tax we are paying to demolish our own houses,” she warned.

“I appreciate the council has a duty to find a cost-effective route, but there’s also a cost to human lives and the effect it’s going have on people.

“If the council treat us like this, they can treat anybody the same.”

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