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Barking residents triumph over council demolition plans

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 September 2015

Residents' homes will now be left untouched, three months after demolition notices were pushed through their doors in Abbey Road, Barking,

Residents' homes will now be left untouched, three months after demolition notices were pushed through their doors in Abbey Road, Barking,

Archant

A group of residents have won their battle with the council over plans to demolish their homes.

Dad Balbir (left), 64, and son Manota, 27, have lived in their home for 10 yearsDad Balbir (left), 64, and son Manota, 27, have lived in their home for 10 years

Ninety-one-year-old Evelyn Peacock will now be able to remain in her home in Abbey Road, Barking, where she has lived for the past 66 years.

Despite owning the house, she was one of 48 residents to receive a letter in June instructing her to leave by March next year in order to make way for the renewal of the Gascoigne estate.

But after her son and full-time carer Gary, together with neighbours, vowed to fight the proposals, a meeting was held with deputy council leaders Cllr Dominic Twomey and Cllr Saima Ashraf.

After reconsideration by the council, and a letter of support from Barking MP Margaret Hodge, eight of the homes will now remain untouched.

“It was such a great relief,” Gary, 63, admitted. “I’ve got to say a massive thanks to the council, because it was probably the smoothest and concise dealing I’ve ever had with them in all my life. I can get on with all the jobs I’d put on hold now – I’ve got a back-log of painting to do.”

Evelyn moved into the house, then owned by her husband’s parents, after her wedding in 1949.

“I wasn’t going to move,” she said. “This house means everything to me. I’ve lived here for 66 years so it’s really good news.”

Although eight homes have been saved, the remaining 40 households – which also includes some residents of Tomlins Orchard – will still have to move out by March next year.

A council spokesman said: “In this case we have listened and responded positively to the concerns of our residents.

“In fact we were very pleased to have received a letter from Mr Peacock praising the council for the way in which the matter has been treated.

“But of course all cases must be treated individually and we would not see our decision in this instance as setting a precedence in future for similar schemes.”


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