Residents angered by news of demolition

Deputy leader is new county chairman

Residents whose homes are set to be bulldozed have spoken of their fears over the £140m redevelopment.

People living in Rowner, Gosport, say they are angry at plans to demolish their estate and they have not been properly consulted.

They say they are being kept in the dark and that no-one has asked them what they want.

On Wednesday night plans to bulldoze 501 homes in Rowner were rubber-stamped by Gosport Borough Council.

A total of 845 new flats and houses will be built in their place.

Those who don't want to move will be forced out by the council using compulsory purchase orders.

Steve Bradshaw, 41 and his partner Jenny Mella, 50, bought their 42,000 three-bedroom flat in Lawrence Court three months ago.

Mr Bradshaw, a kitchen manager, said: 'Nothing was mentioned about the fact the place might be knocked down.

'Because the values here are so low I can't see how they can provide us with something the same as what we have for the same money.

'They should have told us more about this before – and consulted us before they made the decision.'

Neighbour, Valerie Lawes, 60, is equally worried.

She told The News: 'We have heard this before, but this time it looks like it is more than just talk.

'I know some of the area isn't that nice, but a lot us like to keep the insides of our homes nice.

'Some people think it will be the answer to all their prayers. But with prices here being so low, how could we afford to go anywhere else with the market as it is? We just don't know what the plans are.'

Tony Finley, 70, who moved to Rowner from South Africa in January, said: 'It's a big concern.

'The speed they want to do it all is disgustingly fast.'

Deputy Labour leader, Cllr Dennis Wright, defended the lack of information given to residents.

'There is plenty of scope for residents to find out more if they wish,' he said.

'There is an information line about the Rowner Renewal and next Thursday residents are invited to a meeting at Rowner Youth Centre, in Nimrod Drive, to see all the proposals and meet members of the Rowner Renewal team to ask any questions.'

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