Gosport navy veteran’s anger after he was told his house would be demolished

Christopher Payne, right, at his home in Tukes Avenue, Bridgemary,  with Stephen Philpott, county councillor for Bridgemary     Picture: Malcolm Wells
Christopher Payne, right, at his home in Tukes Avenue, Bridgemary, with Stephen Philpott, county councillor for Bridgemary Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A NAVY veteran told his house could be demolished as part of a road scheme has described the ordeal as a ‘bombshell’.

Former Chief Petty Officer Chris Payne had his house earmarked for demolition by Fareham Borough Council as part of its plans to develop land by Newgate Lane South.

Although the council has now gone back on the proposal, Mr Payne believes that it will have a lasting effect on his property.

The 72-year-old, who lives in Tukes Avenue, Gosport, said: ‘In the beginning, it wasn’t actually Fareham Borough Council that informed me of the decision – it was Cllr Stephen Philpott, one of the Gosport councillors.

‘I couldn’t believe that they had earmarked my house for demolition and not even had the decency to approach me about it. It felt awful to feel as though I had been cast aside like that – as if I didn’t even matter.

‘Alarmingly, Fareham Borough Council’s local plan runs up until 2036, so chances are the development will happen anyway and my house will be worth a lot less.

‘It has been far from the happiest situation I have experienced.

‘This house is my only asset and to have things turned on their head has been very stressful indeed.

‘I used to know exactly what my house is worth, now it has become yet another uncertainty to deal with.’

The U-turn was made by the council after it learned that developer Paul Newman, which claimed to have the right to demolish two homes in Tukes Avenue, revealed that this was not the case.

But Mr Payne says that this doesn’t excuse his property being listed in the local plan the first place.

He said: ‘I thought that the council would have the final say on its own draft local plan, not site promoters.

‘I have other things to think about in my life without having to deal with this bombshell over my head.’

Leader of Fareham Borough Council Cllr Sean Woodward said the council was misled by the site promoters.

He said: ‘The site promoters informed us that they had control of the four properties involved – but it turns out that this wasn’t the case.

‘Following last week’s CAT meeting we have gone back to the promoters and they have held their hands up about the error.

‘We have written to the four residents concerned and said that we are happy to meet them and the site promoters to apologise for the misunderstanding.’