Mum gives up eviction fight

By Benedict O'ConnorA MOTHER has given up her fight against the Ministry of Defence, which wants to evict from her home as part of a security clampdown.

By Benedict O'Connor

A MOTHER has given up her fight against the Ministry of Defence, which wants to evict from her home as part of a security clampdown.

After a two-and-a-half year struggle Mary Schmedeman, 62, has decided to abandon her one-woman protest and leave her home in Waterworks Road, Beck Row, near Mildenhall.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, security measures were increased in the area surrounding RAF Mildenhall.


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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) closed Waterworks Road to traffic and bought the houses there from Anglian Water.

The tenants were then given notice to quit and while her neighbours gradually left, Mrs Schmedeman refused to leave, demanding compensation and a new home from the MoD.

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Earlier this year, Mrs Schmedeman threatened to barricade herself into her home, where she has lived since 2000, if anyone tried to evict her.

However, after months of protracted negotiations, and despite being offered £3,000 compensation, she and her son Bobby, who suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, have now found a new rented home and are preparing to move out without any compensation or assistance from the MoD.

“I have had enough. I have decided to find my own home for the good of my health - this thing has dragged on for so long,” she said.

“I was offered a home by a housing group with whom the MoD had some influence, but I felt it was inadequate and because I rejected it, I was back to square one.”

Mrs Schmedeman added because she had rejected the house she had been offered, she would not have been a priority for housing associations because she would be regarded as having become voluntarily homeless.

“It has been a terrible ordeal, it has taken so much out of me and has been terrible for my health and the health of my son,” she said.

“It will be a tremendous relief to put this all behind me and get on with my life. I can't wait to not having it hanging over me all the time.”

Mrs Schmedeman expects to move into her new home in a Cambridgeshire village next month.

benedict.o'connor@eadt.co.uk

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