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SENIOR councillors have backed a move to buy former Ministry of Defence (MoD) houses in Haverfordwest where nine families are facing eviction.

A proposal to buy 26 houses on Cormorant Close, on the Cashfields Estate, was discussed by Pembrokeshire’s cabinet on Monday (September 6).

The MoD gave 17 civilian families renting properties from it ‘notice to quit’ in late 2020 with the deadline for people having to leaved postponed to March 2022, according to a report to cabinet.

The proposal, which was unanimously supported by cabinet, will “prevent nine families given notice from becoming homeless” said housing cabinet member Cllr Michelle Bateman, and add to the Housing Revenue Account stock.

She added that the acquisitions are in addition to house building plans and not instead of, with the building programme continuing.

Cllr Paul Miller added his support, saying bringing properties back into use and safeguarding families was a “good thing” and “why wouldn’t we do this.”

The report adds that the MoD is the freehold owner of the estate – which was mainly used to house military service personnel, with more civilians renting over more recent years – with a 999 year lease to Annigton Property Limited granted in 1996, when a 200 year lease back to the MoD was also granted.

As of June this year MoD information shows there are nine properties occupied by non-military families, one occupied by a military family and 16 vacant houses pending sale.

The recommendation to cabinet is that the council buys the freehold for 26 houses from Annigton Property Limited – subject to negotiations – with the price likely to exceed £1million and those already living there allowed to continue renting.

Precise financial information is considered exempt and not included with the public reports on the cabinet agenda.

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