Girl asks Queen to stop Crown Estate evictions

Jasmine with letter to the Queen
Image caption Jasmine Wright hopes the Queen will understand how she feels

People living in properties owned by the Crown are campaigning against being evicted from their homes.

The Crown Estate confirmed it is proposing the sale of about 200 of its 750 rural homes in the UK.

One resident in Lincolnshire, a 12-year-old girl, has written to the Queen asking for help.

The Crown Estate said it understands the evictions will be "difficult news for some of our tenants" and has given extended notice of up to six months.

Jason Wright, who has set up a petition against the evictions, said: "If I were renting from a normal landlord I would appreciate he's in it for the money.

"But we are talking about the Crown Estate that has always been the guardian of residential properties and always provided affordable housing."

Mr Wright has lived in his home in Swaton, Lincolnshire, for 22 years and estimates he has spent £30,000 on renovations.

"We have made it more valuable and now we are being asked to leave," he said.

"We spent thousands on the basis of a verbal assurance that the Crown don't kick you out as long as you pay the rent.

"There's absolutely no compassion for the people. They are not bothered. We are just numbers."

Image caption Jasmine is waiting for a reply to her letter

Profits from the Crown Estate are paid to the Treasury, which then gives 15% to the Queen.

Mr Wright's daughter Jasmine, 12, wrote to the Queen, saying: "As you have lived at Buckingham Palace for so long I thought you might understand how we feel."

There are about 65 Crown Estate properties in Swaton and Mr Wright knows of five families being evicted.

Andy Dunlop, vice chairman of Swaton Parish Council, said: "They turned up here in their £50,000 German off roader to tell us that the government needed money and they had been told to make savings.

"They are heartless and they haven't thought it through."

Image caption Andy Dunlop said The Crown Estate is heartless

Paul Clark, director at the Crown Estate, said tenants in all areas are being given the option to buy their homes.

"We understand that this will be difficult news for some of our tenants, which is why we are approaching our commercial mandate in a responsible manner by offering all of those affected the chance to discuss purchasing these properties, should they wish," he said.

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