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Farndale villagers call for Trust to protect homes
Residents of Farndale fighting eviction threats by the heirs of Sir Lawrie Barratt last night called for a Trust to be set up in the late millionaire builder’s name to protect their homes.
Tenants of the Farndale Estate on the North York Moors fear the idyllic community – which attracts 50,000 visitors a year – could become a Lake District-type holiday village of second homes.
Seven properties are under immediate threat of sale as new owners Peter and David Barratt seek to settle an inheritance tax bill following their father's death last December.
Nearly 70 people attended a public meeting in Farndale village hall last night to discuss whether they could mount a legal challenge to the moves.
It was revealed the Barratts are set to rake in huge profits by selling the cottages with a typical three bedroom property being marketed at £380,000.
The meeting called for the Barratt family to set up a Sir Lawrie Barratt Trust and the tenants placed under its protection.
It was also agreed to approach national park bosses for help and even the homeless charity Shelter.
There were calls to seek local occupancy conditions on the sale of the homes to prevent them being marketed as holiday cottages to absent owners.
Four adults and seven children are set to become the first casualties off the sell-off and the evictions are to start on September 29.
Widow Nicky Hollins, 42, who has a ten-year-old daughter Ruby, said: “The last three weeks have been horrendous and shocking.
“The way we have been treated is appalling. I came here to bring up my daughter in a nice place.
“When Sir Lawrie was in charge that was the beauty of the estate. There was affordable housing for ordinary people.
“My house has been sold subject to survey. This has left all the tenants feeling insecure, unlike when Sir Lawrie was alive.
“The worry is that if the houses are sold this will become a holiday village.”
Ms Hollins, who moved to Farndale from Hull, said she has nowhere to go.
The meeting was told the cottages were family homes with children going to local schools, some of whom had been living in the village all their lives.
The Barratt family which bought the estate for £1.5 million in 1981, own 45 properties in Farndale and originally planned to sell 13.
Estate Agents Strutt and Parker said this had now been reduced to four occupied cottages and three empty ones following consultations.
But the meeting was told there was no legal protection for any of the tenants and even families with life-long ties to the community faced eviction.
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