Campaigners step up their battle to save old people's housing block in Market Harborough

Campaigners are stepping up their battle to save an old people’s housing block in Market Harborough a week on Saturday.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 10:42 am
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 10:43 am
Photo: Andrew Carpenter.

They are holding a public meeting at Naseby Square off Stuart Road on Saturday January 25 as they fight to defend the ageing complex.

The get-together will go ahead at the Community Hall from 10am-2pm with dozens of angry local people expected to turn up.

The latest shots are being fired as Waterloo Housing works alongside Harborough District Council in a controversial bid to build 39 new homes on the land.

A new revised blueprint is set to be studied by councillors in the next few weeks.

Dave Tomlin, of Naseby Square Tenants’ Action Group, said: “We are determined to stop this scheme.

“Feelings are running higher than ever around here and residents are furious.”

He said they were inviting people to go along and inspect the latest site plan.

“We’ve sent out over 150 flyers to local homes promoting our meeting.

“Interest is strong and we’re expecting a really good turn-out on Saturday,” said Dave.

“Nothing much seems to have changed from the first application.

“And that sparked a record number of objections to the council.

“So they’ll still stand and we expect more complaints to be made.”

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

“Naseby Square has been here since the 1950s and it’s been a much-loved success with a brilliant community spirit.

“There’s only one elderly woman left in the bungalows to be demolished.

“She’s due to go soon but she doesn’t want to leave,” insisted Dave.

He said they were battling to stop the remaining 45 houses there being knocked down.

“This development is short-sighted as well as cruel.

“They obviously thought there was a great need for sheltered housing for elderly people in the 1950s when Naseby Square was built,” said Dave.

“But now that we’ve got many more old people in society they are getting rid of this specialist complex and not replacing it.

“It’s not good enough and we’re not going to take it lying down.

“About 400 people have signed our petition demanding that Naseby Square be saved.

“We’ll keep fighting this battle until we’ve won.”

Harborough council has 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.

“Waterloo will continue to work closely to support the remaining residents on an individual basis until they too are all settled and happy in their new home.

“The planning application is due to be considered in the new year.”