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Kersey Crescent plans opposed

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Residents to hold meeting without applicants Sovereign to formulate their plans

PLANS by a social housing provider to redevelop Kersey Crescent estate in Speen has met with fierce opposition from neighbouring residents.

Residents living on or near the estate off Bath Road are so upset by the plans that they have arranged a public meeting to which Sovereign will not be invited. The meeting will be held at Speen Parish Hall in Speen Lane at 7.30pm on Tuesday.

Sovereign South+West unveiled its plans to construct 80 residential units in Kersey Crescent – there are currently 75 units – at a public meeting at Robert Sandilands School on October 5 and they plan to submit the planning application for approval next year.

Sovereign described the mood at the October meeting as broadly supportive, a view rejected by others who attended.

One resident, who has asked not to be named for fear of being victimised when re-housed by Sovereign, said: “The fact is people housed by Sovereign will not be able to speak their minds freely if Sovereign attends (the planned meeting), they will be intimidated into supporting anything, because of what might happen if they oppose.

“People are unhappy. There is a lot of green space at the moment, but Sovereign's plan is to build right up to the pavement. They are trying to squeeze as many homes in there as possible.”The chairwoman of Speen Parish Council, Meg John, said: “The purpose of the meeting is to provide parishioners with an opportunity to inform Speen Parish Council of their views on the proposed re-development of the flats in Kersey Crescent.

“We now feel that the time is right to listen to the comments and concerns of our electorate.

“I would urge anyone who is or will be affected by the proposed re-development to attend the meeting and make their voice heard.”

Mrs John, confirmed that Sovereign will not be invited to the meeting and added: “This is a parish meeting to provide the electorate of the parish with an opportunity to speak freely to their Council about the proposed development.”

Sovereign neighbourhood services manager Matthew Hensby said: “Throughout this process Sovereign has engaged with the local community to develop plans that gain local support, improve the area and provide a viable scheme.

“As a result of concerns raised by the residents design group and at the recent consultation event we have taken account of resident views and made alterations to the plans.

“At present no decision has been made on the final plans and we are continuing to work with the design group.

“Sovereign have kept interested parties, including the Parish Council fully up to date on the development, and will continue to do so.”

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