150 letters sent to Stubbington residents in error saying their homes could be knocked down to make way for bypass

PLANS A public display of the proposed Stubbington bypass
PLANS A public display of the proposed Stubbington bypass
Daniel Williams as King Charles I at Portsmouth Car Ferry Terminal, Gunwharf. Picture: Byron Melton

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RESIDENTS have spoken at their shock of receiving a letter that said they may be forced to sell their house so it could be knocked down to make way for the Stubbington bypass.

Around 500 letters had been drafted by consultants on behalf of Hampshire County Council, and around 150 arrived at households in the Stubbington area on Friday.

An apology was issued later that day and teams of council workers have spent the last few days knocking on doors and hand delivering letters of apology.

Burnt House Lane resident Barry Gee said: ‘It is a bit shocking for anybody... A mistake is a mistake, but why did it happen?

‘You have to wonder what’s the real reason why they sent so many letters? How did the mistake happen?’

Pensioner Elizabeth Abbott, from Burnt House Lane, said: ‘Do we even really need a bypass? Whatever they do will not be enough.’

The county council said the letter had only been intended for five land owners directly affected by the route options consulted on earlier this year.

Executive member for transport Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘I would like to apologise to residents who received these letters and for any distress this may have caused.

‘A breakdown of communication between the council and the consultants led to an inaccurate letter being mistakenly issued.

‘I have asked that the exact circumstances be investigated and measures put in place to ensure nothing like this can happen in the future.’

Following consultation into three options for the bypass, the council will be investigating routes, including carrying out ecological surveys.

Fareham Crofton county councillor Chris Wood said: ‘I am terribly sorry that this error has occurred and the needless anguish it has caused some of my residents.

‘This is absolutely unacceptable, I am as angry as some of them are.

‘I can assure villagers this was sent in error by Savilles and no homes are to face compulsory purchase orders.

‘The letters were meant to inform of ecological surveys, the company overstepped its remit and caused good people needless worry.’

Stubbington borough councillor Jim Forrest said: ‘There is a lot of elderly residents in that area and they spent the weekend worried about what will happen to their homes... It is a breathtaking error.’