Last Woman Standing: Disabled Resident Refuses to Relocate in Face of £250m Roadworks

Last Woman Standing: Disabled Resident Refuses to Relocate in Face of £250m Roadworks

Gail Roberts, a 64-year-old woman battling multiple sclerosis, finds herself in a unique position as the sole resident remaining on a street that’s slated for demolition in a £250 million road renovation project.

SDecade-Long Battle

For a decade now, Gail Roberts has been locked in a legal and emotional struggle with National Highways, the organization responsible for the roadworks.

Her residence, nestled beside Markeaton Island in Derby, has been at the center of this dispute.

The Unfulfilled Promise

The initial plans for revamping the A38, including the removal of her street, date back to the 1990s. It wasn’t until 2013 that the first phase of the extensive road renovation plan began, with a £4 million project to widen the road.

Legal Battles and Environmental Hurdles

In 2019, the UK government authorized National Highways to legally acquire residents’ homes to move the project forward.

This included compensating homeowners with market value plus a 10% bonus. Unfortunately, the project faced delays when an environmental group challenged it in court over carbon emissions.

The Personal Struggles

During this tumultuous period, Gail Roberts had to confront her own health issues, as she experienced a relapse of multiple sclerosis earlier this year.

This prompted her to reconsider an offer from National Highways.

The Unending Search

In the last five years, Gail Roberts has attended 92 house viewings in search of a new home that meets her disability requirements and is within her budget.

Despite numerous attempts, she’s faced stiff competition from other buyers, often outbid.

A Difficult Decision

Considering her health and the challenges of finding a suitable home, Gail Roberts reluctantly accepted an offer from National Highways.

However, her quest to secure a new residence remains elusive.

Standing Firm

For now, Gail Roberts remains steadfast in her home, the last one standing.

National Highways acknowledges the stress of moving and emphasizes their commitment to handling property purchases fairly and transparently.

The Road Ahead

National Highways assures ongoing discussions with Gail Roberts and her representatives, maintaining their offer to cover her reasonable fees for obtaining professional advice in accordance with the compensation code.

The fate of her home and the road renovation project remains in the balance.

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