Sunday, 19 May 2024

Families fear homelessness after Blackpool Football Club plans to buys houses

Blackpool Football Club said it planned to buy all 182 properties on Henry Street in the resort as part of its expansion plans for its Bloomfield Road stadium.

The club says it hopes that home owners will voluntarily sell their properties otherwise it will seek compulsory purchase orders.

Blackpool Council will issue compulsory purchase orders on behalf of the club if landlords or homeowners do not agree to sell the Victorian terraced houses.

It is thought 182 properties are being affected and the council are offering residents up to £90,000 for a house and £130,000 for a car garage business.

Angered residents Joanne, 50, and Damien Dinsmore, fear they will be forced into a compulsory purchase order, unless they sell their home for less-than market value.

They live with Joanne’s elderly dad and their children but claim the person who came to value the house suggested that Joanne could ‘put her dad in a care home.’

Joanne said: “We have built an annexe for our dad to live in, so we can continue to care for him as he is sick.

“We will never find another suitable home as we’re looking at around £170,000.

“They have offered us £82,000.”

The mum-of-three also claims she ‘wasn’t told’ anything about the football club’s plans at the start and that her son found out about it through rumours at school.

Joanne said: “We weren’t told anything about this at the start.

“There was no consultation with residents.

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“My son kept hearing rumours at school, and then we found out when a surveyor contacted us last November.”

Joanne was considering retiring from the NHS, but thinks she will have to take out a second mortgage to buy a new home that can accommodate her children and father.

Her husband Damien has slammed the football club for making the decision, saying they’ve ‘been treated awful’ and that ‘there’s no compassion.’

He said: “This is pure greed from the football company. “We’ve been treated awful. “There’s no compassion.” Danielle Caton, 39, has rented her terraced home for 17 years and is ‘terrified’ of being made homeless.

Her youngest son attends a nearby SEND school and she is ‘worried sick’ on how the move will affect him.

Danielle, who works at a GP Practice, said: “My landlord has accepted the offer so we have to find somewhere else.

“My youngest son has learning difficulties so it will mean a massive upheaval for him.

“I’m worried sick.”

Danielle added that she has put her name down for a council house, but says they ‘don’t see her’ as a priority while she is still living there.

She said: “I have put down for a council house but they don’t see us as a priority while we are still living here.

“I have a letter from his school and one from the family doctor to say how it will impact my son, but they don’t seem to care.”

A council spokesperson says ‘nobody will be asked to move out with reasonable warning’ and that there is ‘advice available for residents.’

They said: “The Revoe Community Sports Village will help regenerate the local area around Henry Street by building sports pitches for Blackpool Football Club and its community trust, as well as development of a new East Stand.

“We are liaising with the property owners on Henry Street around purchasing their properties through negotiation on a voluntary basis at this stage.

“We would only explore other options if we cannot buy the houses within a reasonable timescale.

“Some owners have chosen to sell already, and advice is available for residents or tenants who need additional support.

“Nobody will be asked to move out without reasonable warning and it is not our intention for that to happen before Christmas.

“We are very aware that we are buying people’s homes and have written to all residents to offer advice and support, to make sure that nobody is made homeless by the scheme.”

Blackpool, nicknamed The Seasiders, currently play in League One after they were relegated from the Championship last season.

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