Residents’ homes on a Daventry estate will now NOT be sold off after a u-turn by councillors.
Daventry District Council last night resolved not to proceed with the sales of 32 homes in Middlemore, bringing to an end months of uncertainty for residents who had originally been told they would have to leave their ‘homes for life’.
In February 2018, councillors had unanimously voted to look into the sell-off of Middlemore estate houses in Pepperbox Hill, Hidcote Way and Stoneacre Close.
The council would have made £6.608m from a sale of the homes, but has concluded that sale receipts would be received so close to the likely date for winding-up of the council that ‘they would be unlikely to be capable of being applied for the specific benefit of the residents of Daventry District’.
The district council is likely to be dissolved in 2020 to make way for a new unitary authority for the west of the county, and is likely to inherit substantial debt due to the financial collapse of Northamptonshire County Council. This means, the district council said, that a capital receipt would only reduce that debt by a ‘modest amount’.
However, it hasn’t stopped some residents already moving, with one family known to be considering legal action for compensation after choosing to downsize upon receipt of the letter from the council.
Conservative councillor David James said: “This has caused quite a hoo-ha. In the end, £6.608m would be a piddle in the ocean, and I don’t think there’s any point to it.”
Labour’s Aiden Ramsey said: “I’m disappointed that we are talking about this in terms of figures. In reality we are talking about people’s homes and their lives. I think we owe the residents an apology for the period of time we have put them through.”
Wendy Heathcock, a resident on Pepperbox Hill, said: “It’s been really stressful for everyone involved, but we are happy with the result. It’s a huge relief, and it was nice to get an apology.”