HS2 will hit South Yorkshire property prices warn protesters

PLANS for a high-speed rail link will face years of falling property prices, closed roads and construction disruption, according to campaigners fighting the £2 billion scheme.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin yesterday announced the Government’s preferred route for Phase Two of the project which would extend the line from Birmingham to Leedsand Manchester.

The northern extension would cost £16 billion and would involve building a new station for the 225mph trains at Meadowhall, near Rotherham, as well one in Leeds and another at Toton between Nottingham and Derby.

But Joe Rukin, director of Stop HS2 which has been fighting plans to build Phase One of the high-speed line from London to Birmingham, predicted falling house prices and years of uncertainty along the route.

The proposed new line would enter South Yorkshire at Killamarsh and make its way to West Yorkshire via Beighton, Orgreave, Treeton and Catcliffe, Meadowhall on to Chapeltown before skirting Barnsley through parts of the Dearne Valley.

But Mr Rukin warned: “Like the hard working tax payers that live on, and near the route of phase one of HS2, the residents and community of Yorkshire will discover that they face decades of property blight and uncertainty.  

On the route of Phase One prospective buyers find it almost impossible to get mortgages; the value of homes drop and families and retirees have had to put their plans on hold.

“Proposed compensation for home owners is less than generous and if your home is more than 120 metres from the line virtually non-existent.”

He aded: “Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said that those affected by HS2 can expect a generous compensation scheme, but the truth is that in two and a half years of the Exceptional Hardship Scheme running, only 16 per cent of claimants have been paid out.

“This is put against a report from South Northamptonshire District Council stating that houses affected by HS2 have lost up to 50% of their value.

“We know that the London - West Midlands section of HS2 will impact 77 Local Wildlife sites, 48 ancient woodland sites, nine SSSIs and four Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves which is why The Woodland Trust and The Wildlife Trusts are opposed to HS2.

“Further sites will be impacted by today's route announcement as well as farming land being lost and many footpaths could be impacted too.”

Meanwhile, Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has backed the plans. She tweeted:

"I think HS2 is brilliant, but would it kill them to admit it's stopping in Rotherham instead of constantly calling it Sheffield?"

Forty four per cent of voters in our HS2 poll think it will be too expensive for ordinary people to use. Click here to cast your vote.

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