Page last updated at 07:50 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Canal owner plans housing sales

Canal boat (generic)
British Waterways says it wants to reinvest money into the canal network

People living in homes owned by British Waterways in Sharpness, Gloucestershire, have been told their houses will be put up for auction.

Eleven tenants living in Great Western and Severn Road have been sent a letter informing them they may have to leave their properties in January.

British Waterways said it was looking to sell the houses to generate money to reinvest in the waterways.

It said tenants have been given first refusal to buy their properties.

In a statement, British Waterways said: "All the properties for sale are let on assured shorthold tenancies and each tenant has been given first refusal to buy their property.

'Stay for good'

"If a new landlord buys the property no-one would have to leave their homes but it would be up to them to decide whether to renew that agreement," the spokesman added.

The householders were sent letters in October stating their homes were going to be auctioned.

Kelvin Kerr, who lives in one of the houses, said he was "disappointed" by the move.

"We were given the impression when we took the place eight months ago that we were going to stay here for good," he said.

"We've spent £9,000 doing the place up and then we get a letter out of the blue saying they are selling everything at auction.

"We're really disappointed by them," Mr Kerr added.

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