A pensioner has been left fearing for her home of more than 50 years as part of plans to create a new manufacturing park on Wearside.
Eleanor Jones, of Bexhill Road in Town End Farm, has been contacted by compulsory purchase experts and land referencing firm Ardent Management Ltd on behalf the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) off the A19 near Nissan.
The scheme is being led by Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council and is expected to bring around £400 million of private sector investment over the next decade.
Read more: Sunderland council support for £41m IAMP business park
The 86-year-old’s daughter June has raised concerns after the firm sent forms seeking information including ownership, equity information and freehold details.
Counil leader Graeme Miller insists there are no plans for compulsory purchases in Town End Farm as part of the IAMP and says the details will ensure residents receive consultation details about the project.
It promises to bring 7,000 new jobs to the area and is planned for land off the A1290, with the first phase just off the main road, with a site which extends north towards West Pastures.
My mum is frightened, she knows something is going on and keeps saying ‘They are going to take my house off me?’June Jones
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But contact with Mrs Jones and her neighbours has caused concern in the Town End Farm estate, leaving them worried about what this could mean for the future of their homes.
June, 65, who is a retired business studies lecturer, and is carer for her mother, who worked at Homeworthy’s and Plessey, says she has not been sent any forms, despite living closer to the site.
She says neighbours in the street have also expressed worries over why Ardent is seeking out the information.
“The main concern to me, first of all, is the form asks questions which are very intrusive,” June said.
“Why do they want to take this information?
“Why are they interested in these properties and in my Mam’s property, unless they want to do something with it, that’s my concern.
“I’ve been told there is no compulsory purchase, but they don’t say what could happen in the future.
“My mum is frightened, she knows something is going on and keeps saying ‘They are going to take my house off me?’
“I want to know what’s going on too and if it’s not for a compulsory purchase, then why get a company involved which specialises in compulsory purchase orders?”
Coun Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “There have never been any plans whatsoever for compulsory purchasing properties in Town End Farm as part of the IAMP.
“All the IAMP work is to the west of the A19 and aimed at creating more than 7,000 jobs and attracting £400 million plus of investment on a site that’s larger than 100 football pitches. “The Government has identified it as a project of ‘national significance’.
“A development of this size and scale means extensive consultation with its neighbours, including households to the east of the A19.
“Keeping IAMP’s neighbours informed and up to date is very important and this is why nearly 500 Town End Farm residents were contacted.
“Several community consultation events are being lined-up and it is important that everyone is kept up to date and can comment on the next round of proposals.
“By registering their details, residents are ensuring that consultation material and project information will be sent to them, and that their views are recorded and considered.
“Anyone with questions about the consultation and planning process has the letter and its contacts for further information.”