Angry residents vow to 'fight the second Battle of Naseby' to save an old people's complex from demolition in Harborough

Outraged campaigners are vowing to fight the second Battle of Naseby in a desperate bid to save an old people’s complex in Market Harborough.

Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 5:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 5:16 pm
Furious residents are warning owners Waterloo Housing to keep their hands off much-loved Naseby Square, off Stuart Road, as the stand-off hots up.

Furious residents are warning owners Waterloo Housing to keep their hands off much-loved Naseby Square, off Stuart Road, as the stand-off hots up.

They have hit the warpath as the major housing group plans to work alongside Harborough District Council to build 39 new homes.

Sue McDonald, 73, who helps to run Naseby Square Tenants’ Action Group, told the Harborough Mail: “We’ll fight the second Battle of Naseby to save our homes from the axe.

“If Waterloo and the council thought we’d just roll over and die then they can think again because we aren’t

going anywhere.”

The current storm blew up in May 2018 when the stunned tenants of 19 bungalows got a letter from Waterloo Housing saying their homes were set to be demolished.

“The disgusting bombshell left many people in tears – and they’ve never recovered. Just two of those 19 householders are still here – the rest have been forced out,” said Sue, who’s lived in Naseby Square for 13 years.

“We are staging a public meeting at the Community Church on Bath Street at 6.30pm on Friday December 6.

“We’ve got nowhere with both Waterloo and the council so we’re hoping that they’ll send representatives along and we’ll finally get some answers,” said Sue.

Cllr Phil Knowles, leader of Harborough council’s opposition, said: “Our ward councillors are keeping a very close eye on this evolving situation. Importantly it’s not being forgotten one little bit that Naseby Square is very much a vital community.”

Cllr Phil King, the council leader, told the Mail: “I understand residents have their concerns and no one likes change. But we are listening to people there and I’m happy with how this proposal has progressed. Residents who have been affected are tenants of Waterloo Housing, not the council.”

He stressed: “The land we want to develop is sat there idle and this is a very attractive scheme. We proposed redeveloping the old garage site on Naseby Square – the council is not knocking down any homes.”

Cllr King said the controversial blueprint was due to go before the authority’s planning committee in early 2020.

The council has also said in a joint statement with Waterloo Housing: “The Naseby Square redevelopment is an exciting collaborative scheme which aims to replace ageing properties with up to 39 modern, fit-for-purpose homes.

“Throughout the scheme, we have listened to valuable feedback from tenants and, based on this, we intend to revise the proposals.

“As well as new homes, the scheme also includes a new communal meeting lounge, enhanced communal spaces and landscaping.”

They add: “The well-being of tenants remains the utmost priority and Waterloo Housing has been working very closely, and on an individual basis, with all their residents.

“They have been kept fully informed of the vacant properties available in the areas of their choice and most of the affected residents have already chosen their new accommodation and have moved and settled into their new homes.”