Residents forced to leave the Rowner estate within months

From left to right: Amy Carter, 34, Matt Paffett, 43, Pernilla Berglund, 42, Latin Smith, 33. Photo: Holly Sayer-Gray

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THE last remaining residents at a run-down housing estate in Gosport must leave their homes by the end of November, the council has said.

A meeting is being held at Gosport Borough Council to confirm the compulsory purchase powers, agreed by the Secretary of State, which the council is using for people refusing to leave the estate in Rowner.

The £145m Rowner Renewal Regeneration project will see the construction of up to 750 new houses, along with shops, a supermarket and a community square.

There are 22 properties remaining where the owners have yet to agree terms with the council.

The land will be transferred to First Wessex Housing Association to allow the project to continue.

Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘It’s to make sure that we can get vacant possession of the properties so we can get the land.

‘These are the formalities that we have to go through to make sure that we can meet the dates for the project.

‘What we would like is for the remaining few to talk to First Wessex and the vast majority of them are doing that.

‘This is the final piece that we would have to do if we needed to do it.’

But Cllr Hook said overall the regeneration project has gone well.

‘Over a period of time we are having to vacate just over 500 properties,’ he added.

‘It has gone relatively smoothly. I understand the hurt and upset some people are going through because they have made their homes here for decades.

‘I do have sympathy for those people but we are trying to improve the area and the quality of life for people in that area and to improve the living conditions for hundreds of families.

‘Overall it will lift the area and we will be able to create jobs.’

Anybody who has not reached an agreement to sell their home has been written to by the developers advising them of their rights.

Owners are faced with selling their land to the council under the purchase order or to the First Wessex Housing Association.

First Wessex can help them find somewhere to rent or they could put the money towards buying a home.

Residents will get compensation for household items such as curtains and carpets for use in their new homes.

The compulsory purchase order will be officially confirmed at a meeting at the town hall on Monday.