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Enid Jones defies Aberystwyth Tesco shopping plan

Category: Wales

Published: 15th Nov 2011 07:06:12

When Enid Jones bought her home in the middle of Aberystwyth seven years ago, she thought she'd be there for life.

But a planned development in the town has threatened that and could result in the demolition of her house and 11 other terraced properties in her street.

Mrs Jones's fear is that if she refuses to sign a deal, the developer will ask the council to force her to sell up by applying a compulsory purchase order or CPO.

She said: "I'll fight until I've got no breath left in my body because it's my home and I've paid for it. I will fight every step of the way."

BBC Wales' Week In Week Out has followed her in her attempt to get more details about the plans, which include a new Tesco and car park.

The programme has found that Ceredigion council and the developer Chelverton appear to be saying different things about the future of the Mill Street car park, especially on whether CPOs will be needed and whether Glyndwr Road will be demolished.

Diabetic since she was nine, Mrs Jones chose Glyndwr Road for its location.

"It's on the flat, near the shops. If I do have to go in a wheelchair, then I'm close to everywhere. That's the reason I bought the house."

The 56-year-old, who lives on her own, knew from local searches when she bought the 1930s terraced property that although Mill Street car park next door was earmarked for development, Glyndwr Road itself was not included in any plans at the time.

After an 18-month bidding process, Ceredigion council recently announced it had selected a company called Chelverton Deeley Freed to develop Mill Street car park. Its proposals are to bring the town better car parking and shopping, including a new Tesco supermarket.

But according to the plans released by the council, they also require the demolition of Glyndwr Road.

Homeowners in the street have been aware for nearly two years that plans of some kind were in the pipeline because a local estate agent and the developer itself had been asking them whether they would sell.

Nine of the 12 homeowners have agreed but three have refused.

Mrs Jones stayed away from the meetings after the first one, not wanting to be drawn into negotiations.

Also, she could not believe that Glyndwr Road was going to be demolished because she says she could not get any confirmation from the council.

She said: "This is not a house. This is my home. I am very attached to it and I do not want to move. I have received no information from the council about what's going to happen."

Mrs Jones was given the chance to meet council leader Keith Evans to put her concerns to him.

He told the programme that it should not be assumed that they would have to resort to CPOs, saying it would now be up to the developers to do the necessary deals with property owners and thereby acquire the land they needed.

This project includes the 12 houses on Glyndwr Road”

He said: "If they don't have the result they require, perhaps they will have to re-scale and re-look at what they are proposing."

However, Chelverton director Simon Morgan said his proposals as they stood would benefit the whole of Aberystwyth.

He appeared unwilling to accept that his scheme could be amended to avoid the demolition of Glyndwr Road.

He said: "I wouldn't envisage that Glyndwr Road would be excluded from the scheme. We have been selected on a particular project. This project includes the 12 houses on Glyndwr Road."

Tesco declined BBC Wales' offer of an interview, but a spokesperson said it was still early days in the process and there would be full public consultation on the part of developer and the local council.

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BBC News, 2011. Enid Jones defies Aberystwyth Tesco shopping plan [Online] (Updated 15th Nov 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/202294/Enid-Jones-defies-Aberystwyth-Tesco-shopping-plan [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]

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