Mark Formosa Reports

Somerset County Gazette: Mark Formosa Mark Formosa

I sympathise with Parmin Close residents who are being forced out of their homes to allow Taunton Deane Council to demolish their bungalows to make way for a new housing scheme.

Although the council says it is ‘consulting’ on the scheme, it is clear that council leaders have already made up their minds this will go ahead.

Unfortunately, these vulnerable and elderly tenants in Parmin Close will not be alone in facing such brutal upheaval to their peaceful lives.

The council also has its eyes on the homes of tenants in Ruskin Close and Victoria Gate.

They are all doomed to suffer the same fate of being forced to move to live in unfamiliar surroundings while the Deane flattens their estates and builds blocks of new flats in their place.

These plans come on the back of a second attempt to force residents of Priorswood Place to accept an unwanted housing scheme almost in their backyards.

The Deane council is riding roughshod over local people’s lives because it wants to build more ‘affordable homes’.

If anybody thinks these schemes won’t happen because it is wicked to treat our elderly tenants like this, then take a look at what happened in Wellington.

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Despite huge protests in Holyoake Street against knocking down elderly tenants’ homes and forcing them to move elsewhere, the council went ahead.

The council’s idea of ‘consultation’ is to say to tenants: “This is what we’re doing; let us have your views; now we’re doing it anyway.”

Holyoake Street turns out to be a blueprint for the council to impose its will on tenants who, frankly, deserve better treatment from the landlord whom they voted to stay with only two years ago.

I appreciate there is a shortage of housing which local people can afford to buy or rent, but what price are we prepared to pay for more?

One of the reasons we are so short is the council keeps picking unsuitable sites - take Enmore Green, Taunton, for instance - where well-organised residents clearly articulate the reasons against, and strongly campaign to defeat the threat to their neighbourhood.

So, the Deane council’s answer is to pick on people who can’t fight back – the sick, vulnerable, and elderly who live in its sheltered housing estates.

To find out about the Conservative approach to affordable housing, email me at mark@markformosa.com or visit www.markformosa.com

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