RESIDENTS of a quiet picturesque town have told how they are furious at their council for buying homes for refugees.
South Kesteven District Council has snapped up 12 properties on a posh newbuild estate – but locals believe they should have been prioritised.
Residents living in rural Langtoft, Lincs., say there is ‘an outcry’ over the plans to house families fleeing war-torn countries on the £1.8 million estate.
The council has bought 12 houses in the picturesque village, where property prices average £400,000, to provide housing for Afghanistan and Ukrainian refugees.
The dozen homes are the first of 21 earmarked for the scheme and are a mix of two and three-bedroom new-build houses and two-bedroom bungalows.
Housing developer Ashwood Homes boasts the ‘high-specification homes’ are in a ‘beautiful rural location’ and are listed for sale for between £600,000-£720,000.
Local resident Liz Jarman, 74, said people in Langtoft have “not been given one chance” to buy a house on the development, which has 41 homes in total.
Although she believes it’s ‘wonderful’ the government is housing refugees and has ‘no objections to that’ she is angry that ‘little Langtoft’ has been chosen for half of the district’s allocation.
She said: “We are just being totally disregarded. It’s not that I’m against refugees – I welcome them – but how can the council do that?
“I’m totally disgusted by the disregard – they’re treating us like we are completely stupid.
“They are more than welcome as they are desperate for homes but so are our people living in crumby bedsits, hotels and hostels. Where is the justice?
“This is not because we’re anti-refugees, it’s the way it’s been done.
“This is about council secrecy and transparency. The meetings to discuss it were held in secret.
“We’ve got so many of our citizens who are struggling, and ex-servicemen who would give anything to get a home.
“When this was put forward, it clearly stated the refugees would be best placed in large towns around here like Grantham and Market Deeping.
“It just came out of the blue, we knew nothing of it.”
Cabinet member for housing and planning, Phil Dilks (Ind) said: “The Government funding had specific timelines for their process. Options were explored across the district and the opportunity to purchase 12 suitable houses in Langtoft was identified as the most appropriate way to meet the urgent demands placed around sourcing accommodation.
“The 12 units were already identified for social housing as per the planning permission; SKDC chose to pursue these under best value for money.
“There are five families in Langtoft on the housing register, all in the lower needs band of four or five and all with no emergency housing need.
“The original report was shared and fully supported at full council, with specifics on location shared at the earliest appropriate time in line with procedure for this or any other acquisition.”