CAMPAIGNERS say a health trust has “displaced their community” by moving them from their homes to sell them to a developer.

The houses on Queen Mary Terrace and Bridge Terrace in Whalley are owned by Mersey Care NHS Trust which had previously housed its employees there. It now intends to sell the site to Prospect Homes.

To do so the trust has moved 34 people from the houses since the plans were announced in 2015, with some former residents unhappy about having to leave.

Nicholas Slinger, who has founded a campaign to prevent the development, said: “It’s unjust that a whole community has been displaced.

“Not everyone has been able to stay in Whalley and it is especially hard at a time when people are struggling.

“It was a great community here for a really long time and the houses shouldn’t be demolished, they’re really good houses.”

A former tenant, who did not wish to be named said: “We have a nickname for them, we call them Mersey Don’t Care.”

She said that many of the tenants had not wanted to leave but felt they had no choice, with some of them having been confronted with potential court proceedings.

In response residents have formed the Save Bridge Terrace Houses/Footpath Whalley campaign, which aims to prevent the redevelopment of the houses.

Councillor David Berryman who represents the ward on Ribble Valley Borough Council has said he is not happy with the trust’s proposed plans or with Prospect Homes’ plan for the area, which involves replacing the housing with mostly larger, three or four bedroom homes,. He will be speaking against them should they be brought before the next planning meeting in April.

He said: “What I’m objecting to is that the proposed new housing mix is only three- or four-bedroom houses and all they’re offering is three houses that are classed as affordable.”

“We wouldn’t let a developer behave in this way so why would we allow an NHS trust too?”

Mersey Care however, says that former tenants were given time to plan ahead over the six-year period and that it is committed to maintaining a good relationship with the local community.

A spokesperson said: “Senior trust leaders met with tenants in 2015 to explain that the NHS could no longer act as landlord and so their monthly tenancies would be coming to an end.

“In the years since 2015, all of the tenants moved on.

“There have been no evictions and the trust acted properly over this six-year process.

“We absolutely recognise the effect on tenants so we ensured that at the start of this six years ago people would be aware that the houses would be sold, giving them time to plan ahead.

“We understand that the changes being made to hospital services will change the relationship we have with the local community but Mersey Care is keen to continue its links with Whalley, through events such as the annual remembrance service, history projects and our safety in town initiative with local businesses.”