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Bypass house row finally over

By Jonny Drury | Newtown | Transport | Published:

A three-year battle over a house which stands in the way of a long-awaited bypass is over – after the owner and government reached an agreement on its sale.

Mr Roberts and family

Robert Roberts lives in a house on Pool Road, Newtown, to the north of where contractors are building the multi-million pound new bypass.

The Welsh Assembly has been negotiating with Mr Roberts for more than two years to buy his house to allow the bypass to be built, but until now he has refused to budge.

But Mr Roberts says he has finally reached a financial agreement to move out - but insists he is £100,000 worse off.

Work on the much-heralded and long-awaited road can now begin on Mr Roberts' former land, with the road set to be opened early in 2019.

The saga began two-and-a-half years ago after Mr Roberts claimed government officials were not giving him the full value of his home, as valued by a surveyor.

Ever since he held out for what he believed was the correct amount, along with putting up signs outside his home, staging protests, and at one point even had protestors chained to construction vehicles after work got under way.

Now after a long-running battle, Mr Roberts finally signed the government's offer, but insisted if he wouldn't have done, he would have gone bankrupt.

He now claims he was given between £80,000 and £100,000 less for his property than he should have been.

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He said: "We signed off on it the week before Christmas and the property has now been sitting there empty.

"I was forced in the end basically to sign the agreement, if I hadn't it would have gone to court and I would have been made bankrupt.

"The money I've had is between £80,000 and £100,000 under what I should have got, that is for the land and a static caravan over looking the river which I got nothing for.

"It is disgusting, it has left me homeless and my family homeless."

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Mr Roberts previously claimed he was "under siege" because he was refusing to agree to the government's offer.

At one point Dyfed-Powys Police was called to facilitate a peaceful protest at Mr Roberts' property after work began on his land.

Government officials have previously stated that they have met with the district valuer and Mr Roberts' several times in an effort to move matters forward.

Now matters have been moved forward as work begins on Mr Roberts' former land, and he begins life elsewhere in the town in a new home.

Mr Roberts added: "We have had to buy a house elsewhere in Newtown and we are now doing it up.

"It is just wrong what they have done, just wrong, they've stolen my land."

The Welsh Assembly said it made a fair offer.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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