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GILDAS AVENUE: Court potential for demolition dispute that started in 2006

GILDAS AVENUE: Court potential for demolition dispute that started in 2006

Image: LDRS

The owner of a house earmarked for demolition has said he will challenge the city council in court if he doesn’t receive a suitable offer.

Carl Harris lives on deserted Gildas Avenue in Kings Norton – which is set to be transformed into part of a new 117-home estate following planning approval last month.

Mr Harris has been locked in discussions with Birmingham City Council since 2006 and is yet to come to an agreement for the four-bedroom house.

He said the council has now begun proceedings for a proposed compulsory purchase order, which he will challenge in the High Court if he is not offered enough to be able to afford another house in the same area.

Mr Harris, 64, a National Express bus driver, said he has been offered £120,000 in writing for the house but said he would need £150,000 to £160,000 to be able to afford another in the area.

The father of one has lived at his current address for nearly 30 years and said he believed it would be possible to build two or even three houses on the property, including land he owns adjacent to the house.

Carl Harris said: “This has been going on for some time unfortunately and the council seems to be dragging its feet.

“We are just in a stalemate.

“They made me a verbal offer and want me to accept before putting it in writing.

“But I have to find somewhere suitable before I accept the offer.

“They have council properties which they won’t allow me to buy.

“Some of the new three-bedroom houses nearby are starting at £258,000.

“I want to stay in the area but there’s nothing with what they are offering that I can afford in this area.”

He said if the matter is still not resolved as the council advances compulsory purchase proceedings, “it will go to court and a judge will decide”.

The road was at one point notorious for crime after houses were deserted ahead of the redevelopment, and the house has previously been burgled.

He said problems have “eased off” to an extent – but said he still sees cars stopping outside his house which he suspects is his property being cased for break-ins.

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “Letters were sent to the affected property owners on the Pool Farm Estate, Kings Norton on 24 March 2021 – including Carl Harris regarding his property in Gildas Avenue.

“These included a notice, made under Section 16 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, stating it was the council’s wish to secure acquisition of his property.

“Birmingham Property Services officers continue to negotiate with Mr Harris on a voluntary basis.

“It is hoped agreement can be reached through this negotiation, however if not, it is proposed that a compulsory purchase order be made on this property.”

Words: Mark Cardwell, Local Democracy Reporter

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