A CARDIGAN family forced to move out of their town centre home through no fault of their own has been let down by Ceredigion County Council.

The Workman family have had to leave their home of more than 20 years on Morgan Street because of contamination from leaking sewage and fuel.

The house has been deemed uninhabitable until the problems are sorted out.

A long-running legal dispute involving Ceredigion council over who is responsible for the contamination has left the family in limbo but now Ceredigion wants to buy the three-bedroomed family home and turn it into two self-contained flats.

Members of Cardigan Town Council were told of several concerns at their November meeting and agreed to write to the county council expressing their ‘disappointment’ at the way the family has been treated.

Cllr Shan Williams said the Workman family had been offered a price for their home by the county council which was at least £25,000 below the market value because reinstating the ground floor – which had been damaged by the county council itself while work was carried out to assess the contamination - would cost that amount of money to put right.

Cllr Williams argued the county council could afford to pay a fair price for the property as it had secured a grant of £100,000 from Welsh Government to help carry out the conversion.

“Mr and Mrs Workman didn’t even know that CCC intended to convert their family home into flats until they saw the notice of planning application on his gate – no-one from CCC had the decency to inform them first,” added Cllr Williams

“The contamination clear-up team also phoned Mr Workman to tell him that the work was starting– no from CCC had informed Mr or Mrs Workman.

“Regarding the planning application, why spoil a beautiful family home when there is a need for family homes? There are numerous one-bedroom flats almost complete in Pwllhai.

“The property is also in a conservation area.

“I would like Town Council to write to CCC to voice our disappointment in the way Mr and Mrs Workman have been treated, to ask them to pay a fair and market value for the property.”

The town council also heard from owners of a neighbouring property, who say they are “deeply concerned”.

They said: “By request of the County Council we agreed for testing for fumes/contamination to be carried out in our property the same as in Norwood. To date we have had no correspondence regarding results.

“Therefore until these come through, we cannot see how any building work can be started.

Is our house contaminated as well? We have had to replace skirting boards/carpets etc in the past two years on walls adjacent to Norwood due to unknown reasons, possibly dampness albeit we have a damp course in our property. We think it only right and decent to have these results available with a detailed explanation to both owners even just for peace of mind.

“Before considering the future of Norwood we do feel the priority should be the clean-up of the contamination. This work should have been done as a matter of urgency. Has the contamination spread further and can you categorically confirm that our premises is not affected?

“We do feel let down by our council/councillors for the lack of information regarding Norwood. It appears to be a very cloak and dagger situation and also on a only need to know basis

“We would like to sympathise with Mr and Mrs Workman for the prolonged upheaval they have endured. This matter should have been resolved years ago. We hope the council take into regard that due to the dragging of feet that you have made a local, hard-working family homeless.”

The town council agreed to write to the county council expressing its disappointment at the way the matter was being handled and to highlight the issues raised.