A FAMILY was shocked after discovering that their 50-year-old home was about to be demolished to make way for a new cycle path.
Lesley Austin only learned of the decision after seeing their house disappear from plans to build a new road.
The Austins have been raised in the same house for 49 years, spanning three different generations.
But the council-owned home could be razed if the plan is approved, the A68 redevelopment plan near Darlington, Durham.
Lesley, 47, said her husband Richie, 52, and two children only realized their home would be demolished when it disappeared from an artist’s impression of the council’s plans.
The plans only show that Austin’s house is gone – with a roundabout in its place – and that all other homes in the vicinity remain intact.
She said the thought of losing her home is “taking a huge toll” on the family but they vowed to “fight and fight” to keep it.
She said: “It was difficult when my friend sent me a screenshot of an artist’s impression. It really disturbed me because it was the first time we saw the house that wasn’t in the corner.”
“I really don’t understand why demolishing a house and changing the road would make any difference,” explains Ms.
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“I didn’t move on my own. It’s a big, quirky old house, and I’ll have to get rid of the stuff that means a lot to me.
“I don’t want to lose it and I will fight teeth and nails to keep it but I think its case has been passed and they are just waiting for funding.”
Ms Austin said neighbors had heard rumors about the plan for about two years but she was still shocked when the council discussed and presented their controversial proposal.
She added that road redevelopment, as part of larger plans on the A68, was not necessary.
“We never have a traffic backlog unless there is an accident. Now we deliberately stand in the garden to watch and it flows,” said Ms. Austin.
“This is not necessary and everyone is of the same opinion, it is not going to make any difference.
Ms. Austin, a private healthcare assistant, says the house’s convenient location means she can walk to work in minutes – but that stops if she has to leave.
She added: “The council is trying to send us to the other end of town with the houses they have provided.
“We could have left the property years ago but we chose to live in this area. It’s close to my workplace, close to the roads.
It was hard when my friend sent me a screenshot of an artist’s impression. It really confused me because it was the first time we saw the house that wasn’t on the corner
“I don’t want to move out of this area. Children struggle with not knowing the future.
“It’s happened and it’s taking a huge toll on all four of us in different ways.”
Currently, the family is waiting for the bad news to come.
“I have the box packed and ready to move,” Ms. Austin said. “I had to demolish my house. It’s not a house anymore, it’s a house. ”
Darlington Council said a number of “appropriate” alternative council homes have been provided to the Austin family.
Councilor Andy Keir, cabinet member for local services, said: “While these proposals are in the early stages, we have had a number of meetings and discussions with tenants. owned by the council.
“The decision to tear down a residential building should never be taken lightly but the limited space available in the area means that if the proposed designs are implemented, it will be necessary on the occasion. this.
“We note that tenants are being asked to leave their long-term home, however some suitable alternatives have been put in place – initial discussions are progressing positively.
“We are committed to working with tenants actively. Wider public consultation is open until 11 February and I encourage anyone with a view to email email@example.com. ”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8211914/home-to-be-demolished-for-cycle-path/ My house has been in the family for 50 years but now it is about to be demolished… for a CYCLE PATH