Anger after council claims 30 households have moved from under-threat park

Dozens of residents have accepted a council’s offer of a home ahead of a last-ditch legal challenge to halt their eviction from a retirement park.

Homes at Lakeminster Park, Beverley. PICTURE: TERRY CARROTT

According to East Riding Council, 30 households have moved or are about to do so from Lakeminster Park, near Beverley.

But those fighting to remain in homes they have ploughed their savings into, say they are concerned others feel under pressure to move ahead of the legal challenge in Manchester in a fortnight’s time. The owners and one of the residents, Alan Coates, are trying to quash planning inspector Diane Lewis’s decision.

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Last September Ms Lewis upheld East Riding Council’s refusal of planning permission for permanent residential occupancy, concluding eviction was not a violation of residents’ human rights.

Resident Doreen Ratcliffe, who retired to the estate with her husband after working 30 years as an administrator at the University of Bradford, questioned the council’s figures, and said: “I think the council is atrocious. They have done nothing to help us find a solution other than: ‘We want them off.’ They are trying to get people to panic and make them think they have to move.”

Mr Coates added: “I understand if the High Court is of the opinion that the Inspector’s decision was unfair because she did not have all the relevant information from East Riding Council when she made that decision, then a new inquiry may be ordered.”

However head of planning Pete Ashcroft said they were “encouraged” so many had complied with the enforcement notice ahead of the deadline of March 2016. Some had made their own arrangements, but the majority had been rehoused by the council. He said: “Residents continue to engage with our housing services and will be supported by the council in doing so. We understand the concerns of those living on the park and, if they have not yet done so, we would strongly advise them to seek independent legal advice on this decision and what options are now open to them.”