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Facebook row erupts over house proposal
6:40pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
Buy this photo » Residents in Tryon Close, Liden are opposed to plans to turn an old dental practice into flats
A PROPERTY investor accused of blighting a street in Swindon with plans to install a multiple occupancy house has threatened legal action against the residents’ Facebook campaign.
Caroline Marsh, a franchisee of Platinum Property Partners, who have submitted plans to Swindon Council to develop a house in Tryon Close into flats, has been mentioned by name on a Facebook page set up by residents of the street to mobilise opposition.
Caroline said: “This is defamation. I have nothing to do with this campaign and they are just throwing wild accusations around.
“I am a franchise partner of Platinum Property, but that is like owning shares in McDonalds. Just because you own part of McDonalds, does not mean you are McDonalds.
“I think somebody is being very vindictive. They have mentioned a comment I made in 2008, and I do not even know where the house is they are talking about.”
Janet Jelley, 67, a member of the residents committee fighting the proposals, distanced the committee from the website when she heard of the threat of legal action.
She said: “We cannot afford legal action. We have not mentioned her name at any point in our comments to the media or at the public meeting, and I do not know where this comment has come from.
“Caroline is the franchisee. If you go into the Platinum Property website it brings up her website, and if I found that out, other people will find it as well.
“I went onto the Facebook page recently and saw some of the comments, and I told them to be careful what they are posting.
“The committee want to distance ourselves from these comments, because we are not implicating Caroline in any way.”
Shortly after the Adver contacted Janet, the offending comments were removed from the website. A number posted on August 29 referred to Caroline by name in relation to the property.
At a public meeting on August 28, residents were told the multiple occupancy house could be used to provide accommodation for nursing staff.
One comment said: “I’m sure Caroline has a lovely street... I wonder what her thoughts would be if I opened a bedsit next to her house and packed it with some ‘nurses’.”
Another wrote: “Caroline has a fight on her hands.”
One of the posts contained Caroline’s full name, and quoted something she had written in 2008 which read: “We are also planning on opening a young people’s centre in Swindon, which will provide a safe environment for young women to eat, train and come for information and support to help them make changes in their lives. And together with my church I am going to do extreme makeovers for under privileged families.”
After the comments were removed from the website, Caroline withdrew her threat of legal action, but is keeping a close eye on the campaign.
“I was going to get my solicitors involved, but now that they have removed the comments I will hold off on that,” she said. “But I want whoever is doing it to know that if they carry on i will be forced to take legal action.”
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