6:00am Thursday 30th January 2014
Exclusive By Jacqueline McMillan
A FAMILY is devastated after learning Castle Point Council’s regeneration partnership wants to buy their “dream home” and knock it down to make way for a stream.
Catherine and Adan Morales, of Waarden Road, Canvey, received a letter from the partnership floating the possibility of using compulsory purchase powers to buy up their home.
The property could then be demolished under a £50million masterplan which would create a stream linking Canvey Lake to a new fountain on the junction of Waarden Road and Knightswick Road.
In the official document for the scheme approved by councillors in April 2012 the stream goes around the couple’s property.
But Mrs Morales received a letter last week which shows the stream going through her land.
It stressed the council wanted to “avoid”a situation where it would have to force the family to sell using compulsory purchase powers.
She said: “We are just completely panicked – we feel so threatened by this.
“We have known about the regeneration for ages and the stream, but at no point were we told our home would be affected.
Clearly, they have moved the boundaries of the stream without any warning.
“This is the first time they have contacted us yet they have known about it for two years.
Obviously, we do not want to sell, so, if we can’t come to an agreement, it appears they will just buy it anyway.”
The couple have lived in the property for 14 years with their daughters, Georgina, 21, Jacqueline, 19, and Rosalia, 14.
Mr Morales said: “My wife has been crying all week about this.
She is devastated, we all are. We wanted this house for years because of the amount of land we would have and the location, so we bought it as soon as it went on the market. We are going to do everything we can to stop this happening.”
Although no formal offer has been made, the letter written by regeneration delivery manager Mark Evershed estimates their house is worth £300,000.
The partnership said the document sent to the Morales family was only a “vision” of what might happen.
A spokesman said: “Thank you for the opportunity to give public reassurance that Castle Point is not considering the compulsory purchase of this resident’s home.
One of the key projects in the Canvey TownCentre Master Plan is to link the town centre and the lake. The masterplan gives an indication of how this could be achieved – it is a vision.
“There are a range of options. No final decision has been made.
“We are making arrangements to meet with Mrs Morales to provide a personal explanation.”
The regeneration partnership will be holding a meeting with owners impacted by the lake link scheme at 12.30pm today at the Oysterfleet Hotel.
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