A DRAMATIC u-turn has been made over a decision to change ten Worthing addresses without warning.
Residents of Henty Close, off Henty Road, was incensed to learn that their house numbers and postcodes were changing with immediate effect on Saturday.
The Herald was contacted yesterday afternoon by Paul Johnson, who thad received a call from the council to say that the decision had been reversed.
Adur & Worthing councils wrote to all ten bungalows in the cul-de-sac, saying: “It has been brought to my attention via the local police authority that varying addresses are in use at the above location that have not been registered with the council.
“Please note that it is the owner’s responsibility to clearly display the correct official number and name of their property.”
Mr Johnson, a stainless steel fabricator and welder, said on Monday: “When the properties in Henty Close were built 76 years ago, the numbers were made to be continuous with the Henty Road houses. There has never been a problem and we cannot understand why the council did not put up a plaque at the bottom of the road like other places do.
“This is going to go on and on. I have never heard anything like it before. We had no warning and there was no consultation. We are incensed.
“Now we have to get so many phone numbers together so we can inform a range of different companies, and our credit ratings will now also all be gone. Our passports, credit cards, wills, driving licences will all have to be changed and we fear that our insurances are all going to be invalid.
“We feel like our identity has completely gone now.”
His wife Judie added: “Our neighbours are also very upset and distressed. Some of them are elderly and are very confused by this.
“We are not sleeping very well and we do not know what to do. That is on top of the financial implications. This has caused such disruption.”
Neighbour Lise Strukelj said: “I am completely outraged about this, in particular the fact that we were not told.
“There would be a simpler way to make a change which would be putting street furniture at the end of the close.
“Instead, the implications of this are horrendous. It is a nightmare.”
Council spokesperson Sarah Stride said: “At the request of the emergency services, who had concerns about the street naming and numbering in Henty Road and Henty Close, our official checking process revealed that the current situation in Henty Close was unacceptable as it was against best practice and agreed policy. Some residents of Henty Close were using the address Henty Close whilst others were using Henty Road and that the sequential numbering carried on from Henty Road with no separate numbering for the close. The council has acted to bring this confusion to an end. We apologise to residents at the properties concerned.”
Mr Johnson says he is “really chuffed” with the latest news. He added: “It has been a really strange week but it seems that we have got what we wanted which is great.”
This week’s edition of the Herald had already gone to press with the story before the council’s u-turn.