Dozens of families could be kicked out their homes before Christmas as Blackpool Football Club has revealed plans to buy nearly 30 houses to build a new stand.
Around 27 properties on Henry Street in Blackpool could be bought as part of its expansion plans for its Bloomfield Road stadium.
The football club said it hoped homeowners would sell their properties voluntarily, otherwise it would seek compulsory purchase orders.
Blackpool Council could issue compulsory purchase orders on behalf of the club if landlords or homeowners do not agree to sell the Victorian terraced houses.
Damien and Joanne Dinsmore with their daughter Ruby. They fear they will be forced into a compulsory purchase order unless they sell their home for less than market value
Danielle Caton, 39, has rented her terraced home on Henry Street for 17 years and is ‘terrified’ of being made homeless
The council is offering residents up to £90,000 for a house and £130,000 for a car garage business.
Angered residents Joanne, 50, and Damien Dinsmore, fear they will be forced into a compulsory purchase order unless they sell their home for less than market value.
They live with Joanne’s elderly dad and their children but claim the person who came to value the house suggested that Joanne could ‘put her dad in a care home’.
Joanne said: ‘We have built an annexe for our dad to live in, so we can continue to care for him as he is sick.
‘We will never find another suitable home as we’re looking at around £170,000.
‘They have offered us £82,000.’
The mum-of-three also claims she wasn’t informed of the football club’s plans. Instead, her son found out about them from rumours at school.
Joanne said: ‘We weren’t told anything about this at the start.
‘There was no consultation with residents.
‘My son kept hearing rumours at school, and then we found out when a surveyor contacted us last November.’
Joanne was considering retiring from the NHS, but thinks she will have to take out a second mortgage to buy a new home that can accommodate her children and father.
Residents on Henry Street in Blackpool are worried of becoming homeless to make way for a new stand at the football stadium
Her husband Damien has slammed the football club for making the decision, adding: ‘This is pure greed from the football company. We’ve been treated awful. There’s no compassion.’
Danielle Caton, 39, has rented her terraced home for 17 years and is ‘terrified’ of being made homeless.
However, the council has insisted that no one will be made homeless because of the scheme.
Ms Caton’s youngest son attends a nearby special needs school and she is ‘worried sick’ about how the move will affect him.
Danielle, who works at a GP practice, said: ‘My landlord has accepted the offer so we have to find somewhere else.
‘My youngest son has learning difficulties so it will mean a massive upheaval for him.
‘I’m worried sick.
‘I have put down for a council house but they don’t see us as a priority while we are still living here.
‘I have a letter from his school and one from the family doctor to say how it will impact my son, but they don’t seem to care.’
The council wants to build the Revoe Community Sports Village in the area, with plans including an enclosed full-size 11-a-side artificial grass pitch and an enclosed five-a-side artificial grass pitch, both with floodlighting, a single storey changing pavilion and a storage building.
The football club wants to build an East Stand on the site to expand its stadium.
A council spokesperson said ‘nobody will be asked to move out with reasonable warning’ and that there is ‘advice available for residents’.
The football club said it hoped homeowners would sell their properties voluntarily, otherwise it could seek compulsory purchase orders
They added: ‘The Revoe Community Sports Village will help regenerate the local area around Henry Street by building sports pitches for Blackpool Football Club and its community trust, as well as development of a new East Stand.
‘We are liaising with the property owners on Henry Street around purchasing their properties through negotiation on a voluntary basis at this stage.
‘We would only explore other options if we cannot buy the houses within a reasonable timescale.
‘Some owners have chosen to sell already, and advice is available for residents or tenants who need additional support.
‘Nobody will be asked to move out without reasonable warning and it is not our intention for that to happen before Christmas.
‘We are very aware that we are buying people’s homes and have written to all residents to offer advice and support, to make sure that nobody is made homeless by the scheme.’