Couple fear they will never sell home after A12 upgrade outside
- Credit: Piers Meyler
A couple living close to a section of the A12 in Essex which is set to expanded fear their home will be left unsellable - but Highways England have refused to purchase it as part of the project.
The A12 is being upgraded to a three-lane trunk road between Junction 19 at Boreham and Junction 25 for Marks Tey and Highways England, who are behind the scheme, have issued Compulsory Purchase Orders for some land alongside this stretch.
However, Nicola and Michaela Longo's Rivenhall End home sits just outside the boundary of the land affected - despite the fact they will live just 65 metres away from a new bypass.
The couple, who have lived in their home for nine years, say they will now have to apply for a discretionary purchase, while proving they are unable to sell their home because of the development.
The section of the A12 which is being upgraded currently carries 90,000 vehicles every day and is dogged by frequent congestion.
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The proposal would widen the A12 between junctions 19 and 25 to three lanes in each direction – but importantly for the Mr and Mrs Longo would see a three lane bypass in each each direction at Rivenhall End, within metres of their home.
When the project is complete they will be left with the original four-lane A12 on one side and a new six-lane bypass on the other. The new road would be just 65 metres from their property.
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A two-lane road connecting the original A12 and Easthorpe Road further to the east is also being proposed.
While they agree proposed changes to this stretch of the A12 road are needed to improve safety, reduce traffic congestion and ensure that the road can cope with the predicted increase in traffic from more jobs and homes in the area, they say Highways England should be prepared to compensate them now.
Mrs Longo, 54, said: “No-one in their right mind will buy this place. This is what makes me so angry.
“We don’t want to be here when this happens because this is our home. And I don’t want to see the destruction at the back of my home. We feel we have no other option but to go.”
The statutory consultation for the scheme finished in June. Highways England intends to submit its application for development consent in spring / summer 2022.
And subject to development approval, construction is expected to start in 2023/2024.
She said: “I am livid. They are taking this away from us, reducing the value of our house and we are not getting anything for it."
Mrs Longo added: “From here all I can see is them building a road there and the machinery they are using are not going to be small diggers. They are gong to be massive.
“Nicola works night shifts with Royal Mail. If we stayed here while they are working in the day he wouldn’t get any sleep at all.”
Stephen Elderkin, National Highways project director, said: “We recently wrote to Mr and Mrs Longo to explain that their house sits outside of the boundary of land affected by the A12/A120 widening scheme, as outlined in the development consent order. National Highways is only able to acquire land or property via a compulsory purchase order which is within this boundary."