Bulldozers won't be tearing down 85-year-old Northampton man's 1940s home after all

Shaun Oakey and Richard Crow in Toms Close, Collingtree, back in 2015. The men said they were being forced out of their homes so the council could develop the site.
Shaun Oakey and Richard Crow in Toms Close, Collingtree, back in 2015. The men said they were being forced out of their homes so the council could develop the site.

Remaining residents of a 1940s-built cul-de-sac earmarked for destruction because the homes were too expensive to repair will be allowed to stay put.

Two years ago, those living in Toms Close, Collingtree feared their post-World War Two-built Airey houses were to be bulldozed to make way for a complete renovation of the street.

Toms Close.

Toms Close.

Former master builder Richard Crow, who had lived in number 10 for 50 years when the scheme was announced, said the £122,000 the council were offering to compulsorily purchase his home would not have been enough to buy a new house.

After two stalled years, Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) - which manages the council's housing stock - says it is finally close to lodging a full plan for the street at a cost of £1.3 million.

And Major Graham Crow, Richard's son, says the family have struck a deal with NPH to let his father stay where he is. His daughter, who lives two doors down, will also be allowed to stay put.

Major Crow, said: "It's positive news for us. My father is really pleased, it's taken a lot of stress off him. He doesn't have to go and find a new house in his eighties now.

"We have had some good meetings with Northampton Partnership Homes."

Back in February 2015 council bosses said the houses, erected in the 1950s using prefabricated concrete columns, were in disrepair and had been classed as "structurally defective."

Arrangements were being made to demolish 11 properties that stood empty and the borough council said it would consider imposing compulsory purchase orders on the remaining five, if those living there refuse to move.

While NPH has not revealed any more details of their planned renovation, it is understood the three remaining occupied homes will be able to stay as they are. A spokeswoman confirmed no people would be moved out of properties to make way for the £1.3 million renovation.

Chief executive of NPH Mike Kay said: "Northampton Borough Council’s 2017 - 2022 capital programme includes an allocation of £1,300,000 to modernise properties at Toms Close and facilitate the redevelopment of the rest of the close.

"This is the first stage of a redevelopment programme that will be delivered by Northampton Partnership Homes on behalf of the council. We are currently finalising detailed proposals, which will be submitted to Northampton Borough Council for approval in due course."