More homes to be evacuated as cordon around suspected World War Two bomb in Plymouth extended

The police cordon area will be expanded to 300m from 9am on Thursday 22 February

More homes in Plymouth are set to be evacuated as a cordon will be extended after the discovery of a suspected Second World War bomb.

A major incident was declared by police on 20 February after the device was found in a garden on St Michael Avenue in the Keyham area.

Residents living in Plymouth have spoken of the "chaos" of being forced to leave their homes after around 1,200 people living in the area have been forced to leave.

In an update on the incident on Wednesday 21 February, Plymouth City Council said: “Following advice from the Army, the cordon around the major incident on St Michael Avenue will be extended from 200 metres to just over 300 metres from 9am on Thursday morning to allow ordnance disposal experts to work on the unexploded device.

“This cordon is likely to be in place for at least a 36-hour period.”

The advice for residents evacuating tomorrow morning by 9am stated: “The military advice is clear – if you live within 309m of the device, you will need to evacuate to ensure your safety.”

Police in Keyham after homes were evacuated Credit: ITV West Country

Officials will start knocking on doors from 8am and in some cases only part of the street will be inside the cordon.

Residents are being encouraged to make arrangements to stay with friends and family over the next couple of days.

A rest centre, at the Life Centre, has also been set up as a possible place that people can stay.

Those who will have to move out of the expanded cordon are being told to take enough clothes, medical prescriptions or equipment they may need for the next couple of days.

The council update adds: “We know that this will be worrying, but please be assured Plymouth City Council, the local Police, NHS and other partners are working closely together to ensure your safety and wellbeing whilst this process is being undertaken.”

Where is affected?

Properties in Alexandra Road, Alexandra Terrace, Alfred Place, Alfred Road, Barton Avenue, Beatrice Avenue, Bedford Street, Berkshire Drive, Brunel Avenue, Brunel Terrace, Cambridge Road, Clyde Street and Cotehele Avenue will now have to be evacuated.

Neighbours in Epworth Terrace, Henderson Place, Kempe Close, Kent Road, Maristow Avenue, Moor View, North Down Crescent, North Down Gardens, Ocean Street and Parkside will also have to move.

The cordon extension now also covers Railway Cottages, Renown Street, Royal Navy Avenue, Sanctuary Close, St Aubyn Avenue, St Michael Avenue, Station Road, Sussex Road, Sussex Terrace, Townshend Avenue, Warleigh Avenue and York Terrace.

Matt Longman, Chief Superintendent at Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "It means there’ll be more impact on people and I can’t imagine how difficult it is to be dealing with that.

"Everybody’s patience that we asked for yesterday has paid off and it has allowed us to get in the best experts we can to get the safest and least disruptive plan as a multi-agency operation."