Mum and son given four months to leave St Michael’s Gate after court hearing in Peterborough

Charlotte Robertson with her son Ethan
Charlotte Robertson with her son Ethan

The mother of a five-year-old boy said she is terrified about being moved into a hostel after she was given four months to leave her home in St Michael’s Gate.

Charlotte Robertson and son Ethan have to move out of the estate in Parnwell despite fighting an eviction notice at a county court hearing in Peterborough on Monday.

The 25-year-old waitress is one of the few remaining tenants at St Michael’s Gate which hit national news last August when the Peterborough Telegraph revealed more than 70 households were being evicted so homeless people could be brought in instead.

Charlotte said she was “terrified” at the possibility of being moved into a hostel and is worried about getting Ethan to and from Parnwell Primary School. She added: “I do not think this should be allowed to happen.”

Asked if she enjoyed living at St Michael’s Gate, she replied: “I did. It was quiet but not any more, and the police are down quite a lot.”

Paul Simon Magic Homes owns the St Michael’s Gate properties, and director Mr Philippou, who refused to give his first name, represented the firm at the hearing.

He said: “I want to make their move as comfortable as possible and try and give them as much time as they need. I’m not as bad as people make me out to be. I have a family.”

District Judge Matthews said: “I looked at the papers and found I was not satisfied the claimant was entitled to a possession order.”

However, Ms Robertson and Mr Philippou reached an agreement for her to leave her home in November.

The history of St Michael’s Gate

The Peterborough Telegraph exclusively revealed last August that a firm called Paul Simon Magic Homes had bought 74 properties in St Michael’s Gate, Parnwell, where the tenants were being evicted.

The evictions were to be carried out by the managing agents of the properties, Stef & Philips, which then negotiated a three-year deal worth nearly £1 million a year with Peterborough City Council so the authority could use the homes as temporary accommodation for homeless families. The council said if it had not agreed the contract with Stef & Philips then the firm would have signed a similar deal with another local authority.

Since then the PT has launched a campaign to prevent companies from being able to carry out a repeat of the St Michael’s Gate saga elsewhere, leading to a debate in Parliament. The campaign has also received the support of the chair of the Local Government Association - Lord Porter - and famous local faces such as Peterborough United owner Darragh MacAnthony.

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