RESIDENTS have launched a £5.5m claim after an appeal against eviction from their retirement homes failed.
Dozens of elderly people, many of whom ploughed savings into buying a home on Lakeminster Park, near Beverley, now face the prospect of finding a new home within 18 months.
Just under 60 households have instructed Hull-based Gosschalks solicitors to issue High Court proceedings against the site’s operators and several firms of solicitors, who formerly acted for the occupiers and owners, alleging misrepresentation and professional negligence.
They have stood apart from neighbours who backed civil servant and resident Alan Coates’ unsuccessful appeal, and that of Lakeminster Park Ltd.
It came after it was revealed that planning inspector Diane Lewis had upheld East Riding Council’s refusal of planning permission for permanent residential occupancy.
Ms Lewis claimed alternative accommodation would be available, while accepting that “loss of ownership, with the independence, control, privacy and security that it brings, would be difficult for residents to come to terms with.”
Although a number of residents’ “health and wellbeing is of concern” she said that had to be weighed with other factors, including the failure to seek legal advice.
She concluded that eviction was not a violation of their human rights.
However David Aldcroft, who bought a home in 2009, pointed the finger of blame at the council. Both he and his wife have had serious health problems.
The 77-year-old said: “They really have pushed people about. We are not human beings to them, we are just an inconvenience, because they want us to be off.” William Flannigan, the man who sold residents the homes, was charged with ten counts of fraud relating to misselling homes earlier this year.