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Home   Malling   News   Article

Ruth North's fight to save St Georges Court in West Street, Wrotham takes to Youtube

31 May 2014
by Claire McWethy

A 97-year-old war veteran has taken to Youtube to save her home from the bulldozers.

Ruth North has lived at St George's Court in West Street, Wrotham for the last thirty years. But its future now hangs in the balance, with plans to replace the sheltered accommodation with mixed housing.

Providers Circle Russet Housing say it isn’t practical to keep the warden assisted scheme in its existing form.

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Ruth North has lived at St George's Court for the last thirty years

Ruth North has lived at St George's Court for the last thirty years

But ex-RAF nurse Ruth is in fighting mood, and has taken to the internet to get her message across.

In a video posted on Youtube she says: “I love it here, I have my friends here and it is my home. I fought during the war in the RAF and am proud of my country. I am too old to move out now. 

"I have seen some things in my life but I never thought I would be forced out of my own home.” - Ruth North

"I have seen some things in my life but I never thought I would be forced out of my own home."

Ruth, who says she has suffered an angina attack because of the stress of not knowing what will happen to her home, has also started an online petition to save it.

The land to build the sheltered accommodation was given to the village by the late Edna Goring of the famous Goring Hotel in London, and is believed to be under covenant meaning it cannot be used for any other purpose.

Her son George Goring, who lives nearby, is opposed to the plans. He said: “I do not think it is in the interests of the village to redevelop the site. I don’t know if it will be possible for the housing association to override the covenant."

Roy Morgan, Managing Director at Circle Housing Russet said of the situation: “Our priority as an affordable housing provider is to meet the needs of local people both now and in the future.

"An important part of this process has been to consult with residents of St George’s Court so that we understand their views and can make sure we provide them with the right choices and support.

"This would include helping residents find alternative accommodation in Wrotham and nearby if the decision is made to develop new homes.”

Built in 1981, St George's Court comprises warden assisted 26 flats, but several residents have already been encouraged to move out.

In a letter to residents, Wrotham Parish Council said: “It is very regrettable that many elderly residents have been encouraged to leave their homes before the consultation period has completed and when no decision on the future of the complex has been taken.”

 

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