'˜Three tests must be met before demolition begins of Harborough homes' says MP
Harborough MP Neil O'Brien says that the redevelopment of some old people's bungalows at Naseby Square, Market Harborough, should not go ahead - unless three key tests are met.
Landlords Waterloo Housing want to use a former garage site for new family homes, and also want to demolish some of the existing bungalows on Naseby Square to create more space for the new buildings.
Neil O’Brien said: “I can see the rationale for the plan, and it is much better to be building on the derelict garage site than on green fields.”
But he added: “The developer badly mishandled the way they consulted residents about this plan, leaving older residents deeply upset and uncertain. So they have a lot of work to do.”
Tenants at the town’s old peoples’ complex were left in tears in May this year, by a Waterloo Housing letter that said their homes would be demolished – but had no information about where they would be moved to.
Now Mr O’Brien says the council should not allow the scheme to go ahead unless three key tests can be met.
(1) All residents who have to move must be financially compensated, and offered good housing they are happy with locally, not out of town.
(2) There should be an access plan which will minimise disruption and noise from reconstruction work. “Naseby Square and the area around it is wonderfully quiet” said Mr O’Brien. “Construction traffic, noise and dust need to be kept to an absolute minimum, and builders hours of work tightly controlled.”
(3) There must be “real benefits” for remaining residents of the complex, he said. That could be doing up the remaining homes, making the outside spaces better or replacing a lost community room.
Marion Duffy, director of neighbourhoods and operations for Waterloo Housing, said “Waterloo are working closely with Harborough District Council officers and we will continue to update residents regularly.”