Shocked homeowner told her house will be pulled down – and left in the dark over her future

Angeline Thompson owns her home in Eskdale Drive, Jarrow.
Angeline Thompson owns her home in Eskdale Drive, Jarrow.

A home owner in a street which is due for demolition says she has been left in the dark by the council’s plans.

Angeline Thompson bought her former council house in Eskdale Drive, Jarrow, with her husband Gordon in 2007 for about £30,000.

Demolition plan for Eskdale Drive, lakes Estate. Home owner AngelineThompson

Demolition plan for Eskdale Drive, lakes Estate. Home owner AngelineThompson

The couple, who have three children, had lived there since 2002 and since buying it, say they’ve spent between £18,000 and £20,000 on home improvements.

South Tyneside Council has announced plans to demolish 43 council-owned pre-fabricated homes on the street, in the Lakes Estate, and build new ones on the same site.

The council says it will work with owner-occupiers in the street in order to secure the rest of the site and bring forward new replacement homes.

But Mrs Thompson, whose children Eric, 23, and Alex, 18, live at home, says she doesn’t know what the development will mean for her family.

We got a letter saying that the houses are going to be knocked down but we don’t know what that means for us.

Angeline Thompson, Eskdale Drive homeowner

The 47-year-old said: “We got a letter saying that the houses are going to be knocked down, but we don’t know what that means for us.

“It feels like no matter what that it’s going to cost us in the long run.

“If they knock our house down and we move into the new one and go back to being a council tenant, we’ll be paying double in rent what we pay now for our mortgage.

“The council tenants have been told they’re getting a new house to move into but we don’t know what will happen for us.”

Demolition plan for Eskdale Drive, Lakes Estate.

Demolition plan for Eskdale Drive, Lakes Estate.

Mrs Thompson also fears that if the council bought the house off her, she wouldn’t make enough to buy a new home.

She said: “I think the market value of the house was £45,000 but we got it for around £30,000 because we’d been renting it for five years already.

“With it being a pre-fab, it doesn’t have the same value as a brick house, so even if the council did buy it from us it would cost us more in the long run because we’d need a bigger mortgage for a more expensive house.

“We’ve spent a lot of money on it since 2007 as well, having double-glazing windows put in, a new bathroom and kitchen, a new boiler system– and all that is just going to be knocked down.

“We don’t want to have to move out of this estate either because we like it here. It’s a quiet estate with just one road in and out and we don’t want to have to go.

“We don’t know what is going to happen to us. We haven’t heard from the council since receiving the letter that everyone else got about the houses being demolished.”

A spokesman for the council said: “We recognise that this is a very distressing time for everyone affected and that’s why we are arranging one-to-one sessions with individuals concerned.

“We are committed to keeping affected residents up to date to provide the best possible outcome.

“We have made plans to see Ms Thompson today.”

Survey shock

Last week residents of Eskdale Drive, Jarrow received a letter to say their homes would be demolished.

The properties had been due to receive Decent Homes works and contractor Keepmoat started on site in late July.

But council bosses say that surveys found the properties were in worse condition than first anticipated, meaning that planned works would take much longer and at a much higher cost than originally budgeted.

Further investigations concluded that bringing the properties up to Decent Homes standard was not economic or affordable.

The council has now decided to decommission council-owned properties and negotiate to purchase seven privately owned homes.