A12 upgrade: 'The people who live here are not being considered'

Two people - Michaela and Nicola Longo - stand in their back garden in Rivenhall End, Essex

Michaela and Nicola Longo, who fear their house in Rivenhall End will lose value as a result of an A12 upgrade - Credit: Piers Meyler, Local Democracy Reporting Service

An Essex couple fear their home will be blighted by a six-lane road which could be built just 65 metres from their house.

But National Highways, which is behind plans to widen the A12 between Chelmsford and Marks Tey, say Nicola and Michaela Longo are ineligible for a compulsory purchase order (CPO) because their property sits outside the boundary of the land affected.

The Longos have lived in their Rivenhall End home for nine years.

They say they will have to apply for "discretionary purchase", which can only be granted if they successfully prove their home will significantly decrease in value as a result of the work.

The A12 between the A130 near Chelmsford and the A120 at Marks Tey carries up to 90,000 vehicles daily.

For the Longos, A12 improvements near Witham will leave the original four-lane A12 on one side of their house and a new bypass on the other about 65 metres away.

Nicola and Michaela agree that works are needed to improve safety and reduce congestion on the A12, but they have said National Highways should be prepared to compensate them.

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Michaela, 54, said: "No-one in their right mind will buy this place.

"This is what makes me so angry.

"I don't want to see the destruction at the back of my home. We feel we have no other option but to go."

The statutory consultation for the scheme finished in June.

National Highways intends to submit its application for development for consent in 2022 for work to start in 2023/2024.

Michaela said: "The ball is in their court, and they can offer what they like.

"It is an injustice because the people who live here are not being considered and their opinions don't seem to make any difference."

National Highways has written to the Longos.

Stephen Elderkin, National Highways project director, said: "National Highways is only able to acquire land or property via a CPO which is within the boundary.

"We have offered Mr and Mrs Longo advice on a potentially alternative option of a discretionary purchase and we await to hear back as to how they want to proceed."