Shock as Peter’s home of 53 years is wiped off map

Resident Peter Reynolds with just a small bounty of his crops for the coming year, as he reacts to outline planning proposals that wipe his small-holding home of 53 years off the map
Resident Peter Reynolds with just a small bounty of his crops for the coming year, as he reacts to outline planning proposals that wipe his small-holding home of 53 years off the map
0
Have your say

A pensioner who has lived in his home for six decades has told of his shock after seeing it wiped off the map in a planning proposal.

Peter Reynolds, 83, has lived in a council-owned property on Old House Lane, Westby, for 53 years, running the three-acre horticultural plot as a small holding and raising his family there.

He has previously sought to buy the property from
Lancashire County Council, as his neighbours have bought up their former authority-owned homes.

But he has always been told the terms related to the land do not allow him to buy.

Now the authority has submitted an outline planning proposal to Fylde Council to build up to 200 homes in what has been Mr Reynolds’ neighbourhood since 1962 – without including his property in its plans.

The grandfather said: “I know it’s going to be developed and I know I’ll have to go, but everyone else has bought their homess years ago.

“Even an architect came down and just said, ‘Well you don’t exist on these plans’.”

Discussions over the future of the land have been ongoing for seven years.

Mr Reynolds added: “I know it’s not going to happen tomorrow, but one way or the other, I just want some 
certainty on what’s happening.”

Neighbours have said they sympathise with the grandfather’s plight, telling how they had to inform him of the details of the proposal as he did not have access to the internet.

Graham Haynes, who owns his house on Old House Lane, said: “What a shock to see your home is not there.

“You can’t stand in the way of progress, and they need to build homes, we know that, but surely he’s got some rights?”

The land was formerly a county council agricultural estate, started in the 1920s, with plots leased to local residents returning from the First World War.

Mr Reynolds plot was reduced to just one acre in the 1990s, while other properties were made available to buy.

Gary Pearse, Lancashire County Council’s assistant director of property, said: “By the 1990s the majority of tenants had retired and the surrounding areas 
including part of the former estate were starting to be developed for Whitehills Business Park.

“There are now no active agricultural units and we are working on a plan for the 
future development of the 
remainder of the land.

“Our outline planning application seeks to establish the principle that this site is suitable for mixed use development of residential and employment.

“We have been keeping Mr Reynolds informed over a number of years about the development potential of the estate and have made it clear he can continue to occupy 
under the terms of his tenancy.”

But Mr Reynolds is pleading to be given reasonable notice on exactly when he will have to vacate his home.

He said he still farms on the acre-plot, with much of it dedicated to growing crops and plants.

He said: “They’ve said I can stay here until they knock it down. I feel like they’re waiting for me to die.

“This is my home, I can’t just up and leave like that, all my stuff is here.”