More calls to end post-HS2 ‘limbo’ for residents in Bramley, Aston, Thurcroft and Wales Bar

Bramley residents protesting in 2018Bramley residents protesting in 2018
Bramley residents protesting in 2018
POLITICAL figures are continuing to call for an end to the planning blight hanging over Rotherham despite HS2 being scrapped beyond Birmingham.

Parts of the borough including Bramley, Aston, Thurcroft and Wales Bar have faced the threat of the high speed rail link since 2016.

And despite the proposed M18 route being axed, many homes still fall under “safeguarded land” categorisation – meaning anyone looking to buy a property in the area cannot be sure the government will not seek to take it from them.

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It had been hoped that the government would announce the safeguard status being lifted in 2021 when it was announced that the M18 route was no longer preferred, or earlier this year when the “Leeds study” of routes north of Sheffield was announced.

But even after the government announced that the whole thing would be scrapped north of Birmingham, the safeguarded status has remained.

Labour’s John Healey, RMBC leader Cllr Chris Read and prospective parliamentary candidate Jake Richards have written to ministers calling for an end to the “inexplicable” threat as soon as possible.

Wentworth and Dearne MP Mr Healey said: “From day one, I opposed this route and worked with our HS2 community action groups, rail experts and local councils to demolish the flawed case for switching the HS2 route from Meadowhall to the M18.

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“There can be no reason now not to lift ‘safeguarding land restrictions’ imposed by ministers for HS2 on large areas of land in Rotherham.”

Cllr Read added: “Communities like Bramley, Wales Bar and Aston are simply in the wrong place for any future routes between Sheffield and Leeds and it cannot be right that residents in those places are left in limbo.”

Alexander Stafford, Conservative MP for Rother Valley, has previously raised the matter in parliament - complaining about the amount of time homeowners had been left with this uncertainty.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “Phase 2a safeguarding will be formally lifted in weeks and Phase 2b (Western and Eastern Legs, including HS2 East) safeguarding will be amended by summer next year, to allow for any safeguarding needed for Northern Powerhouse Rail.”