North West Cambridgeshire MP welcomes decision to extend notice period for homes at Wittering as Peterborough City Council considers taking them over from Annington Homes
The MP for Wittering has welcomed a decision to extend the notice period for more than 70 households who face eviction.
All 433 Ministry of Defence houses in Wittering are currently held on a lease and when they are no longer required for military use, they are returned to the company which owns them.
The Ministry of Defence says it does not have a long-term requirement for 71 of the properties in Wittering and so has decided to hand them back to Annington Homes Ltd.
Originally these tenants had been told they would have to leave by the end of September but on Monday, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence Jeremy Quin announced in the House of Commons that this has been extended to March 31, 2022.
Shailesh Vara is the Conservative MP for North West Cambridgeshire, which includes Wittering, and has been trying to secure a future for the houses so the tenants can stay.
Mr Vara said Peterborough City Council was liaising with the Ministry of Defence and Annington Properties to find a solution, which could include acquiring the properties as part of the council’s housing stock.
Mr Vara said: “I welcome the six month extension as Peterborough City Council is in contact with the two parties to see if they can acquire the properties with the tenants still in occupation.
“As well as giving some additional comfort to the families concerned, the extra months provide more time for an agreement to be reached between the Council and Annington.”
Mr Vara has again spoken with Mr Quin and asked him to do all he can to help facilitate the transfer of the houses to the council so that there is security for the tenants concerned.
A spokesman for Peterborough City Council said: “The council is committed to ensuring that all residents of Peterborough have access to good quality affordable housing.
“We are aware that some residents at Wittering have been served notice and officers are talking to both Annington Homes and the Ministry of Defence to explore what options are available to support them.”
Annington Homes declined to comment.