Retirement homes ‘have plummeted in value’

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Homes on a retirement park at the centre of a planning row have plummeted to a seventh of their value, an inquiry heard.

An inquiry at County Hall, Beverley, which will determine the future of around 100 mainly elderly residents, from across Yorkshire, including Leeds, Bradford, and Hull, heard that their homes at Lakeminster Park cost £140,000 in 2007, but are now worth just £20,000.

Making her closing submission East Riding Council’s barrister Nicola Allan said it demonstrated that “the park homes may not meet the need of this generation, let along future generations”.

She said the scheme was “basically a new small village in the open countryside” and that allowing the appeal by the owners against the refusal of retrospective planning permission, would “undermine” the planning system.

She also insisted that, should it go against residents, “no-one would be rendered homeless, or left at the side of the road”.

Retired civil servant Alan Coates who was “blissfully unaware” anything was wrong when he became one of the first to move on to the park after selling his bungalow in Beverley, contends that making people leave the park would contravene their human rights.

Most sold homes to fund their purchase with some taking additional loans.

However Ms Allan said there was “inadequate evidence to show that the interference with individuals’ human rights would be disproportionate”.

Inspector John Braithwaite will make a ruling at a later date.