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Canvey neighbours lose out on bid to buy front gardens at auction
10:10am Wednesday 27th February 2013 in News
FOUR families have lost out in a bid to buy their gardens outright after they were put up for auction by Essex County Council.
The families from Marine Parade, Beck Road and Zider Pass in Canvey lost out on buying the strips of land, which they had rented for 25 years, when the plots went up for auction on Monday, February 25.
It means that one resident, Mark Durant, 41, could technically now be classed as a trespasser because he has to walk through his front garden to get into his home in Marine Parade.
The sale by Lambert Smith Hampton was held at the Millennium Hotel, in Grosvenor Square, London, where a private buyer bought the land from Essex County Council for £4,800.
Jean Graham, 65, of Beck Road, joined Mick Bering and his wife Julie, of Marine Parade, at the auction on behalf of the four families.
They had agreed on a price to pay, but could not match the highest bidder.
Mrs Graham said: “It went quite quickly, there was one here, one there, our limit was reached and that was it. If we had carried on, I think they would have carried on too.
“There was quite a lot of interest, but I don’t understand why people want a garden plot. It just seems so unnecessary, we’re utterly deflated that this has happened.
“The photos show the completely wrong plot so the buyer will get a bit of a shock when they see what they’ve bought.”
The families only found out the auction was going ahead when a glossy brochure was dropped through their letterboxes showcasing their front lawns.
They claim they received no notification of the sale, and despite meetings being held at County Hall between Canvey councillor Ray Howard and the cabinet member for finance and transformation, David Finch, the auction still went ahead.
The residents had offered to buy their pieces of land in the past, and were prepared to negotiate but were turned down by the county council. They are now planning on removing trees and shrubs they have spent hundreds of pounds on over the years.
Oliver Childs, head of auctions at Lambert Smith Hampton, said he could not give out the name of the buyer, but said it had gone to an Essex-based “private individual”.
He said the exchange and completion will now take about 28 days.
An Essex County Council spokeswoman added: “The auctioneer clarified the position on land information and photographs at the auction, pointing out the information supplied by Essex County Council had changed as the auction was prepared, and purchasers should rely on their inspections.
“Any rights the occupiers have will not be affected, but if those rights are not formal or documented, the occupiers will need to discuss the future use of the land with the new owner.”