Doncaster Shimmer estate to see 16 plots left unbuilt as HS2 spends millions on properties

The Shimmer estate in Mexborough
The Shimmer estate in Mexborough

A string of properties which had been planned along the route of HS2 through Doncaster will be left unbuilt, it has been confirmed.

Builders Strata have told residents on the Shimmer estate that a deal has been drawn up in principal between them and HS2 Ltd to buy 30 houses and 16 vacant plots of land on the Shimmer Estate in Mexborough. .

House prices on the estate are advertised as starting at £99,995 for a two-bedroom property, so it is expected the fee will run into millions of pounds.

Now Strata has written to residents outlying the plans - and stating that the 16 plots will be left unbuilt. But 10 currently incomplete homes will be finished.

The letter states: "Whilst the details are still to be finalised, which includes specific timings, we can confirm that the basis of an agreement is now in place for HS2 to purchase 30 homes on the estate

"The 30 homes include: 17 plots HS2 agreed to purchase previously, we have now finished building these homes; 10 homes to be completed; three show homes.

"This leaves the remaining 16 plots which will not be built and therefore are not included in the figure above.

"Once again, we really do appreciate how frustrating this process has been but we hope to have further updates in the coming weeks which will provide details and confirmation on all future plots."

Mexborough ward Coun Sean Gibbons said: "On discussing this matter with (Transport minister Chris) Grayling's Principal advisor at the HS2 info event in Mexborough, it appears that the deal between HS2 and Strata is to purchase 46 properties/plots but the 16 empty plots will not be developed.

"I think this whole process of HS2 negotiating with Strata behind the scenes for a year on these property/acquisitions on Shimmer has frustrated many local residents who are still struggling to finalise their own personal property deals with HS2.

"The fact that now it appears that these 16 plots are not going to be developed by Strata (but bought by HS2) will create more questions and concern from local residents around the future of the Shimmer estate and the suspected decimation of the local area when HS2 finally comes to town between 2023-27 (current estimate)."

An HS2 spokeswoman said: “HS2 is committed to working with Strata to ensure that the Shimmer estate is completed to a good standard.

The basis of an agreement has now been reached with the developer for the purchase of 30 houses and 16 vacant plots.

Discussions are ongoing to finalise the arrangements and to agree timescales for completion of the development.”

She added: “HS2 will deliver major benefits to the Yorkshire region.

“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to dramatically improve journeys between the Midlands and the North, and London, boosting capacity, improving connectivity and helping to rebalance the national economy.

“It is also becoming integral to local plans to drive business growth, create jobs and secure investment years before it arrives.”

Housing developer Strata says it understands the frustrations of residents living on its unfinished Shimmer estate as talks continue with HS2.

Andrew Weaver, chief executive of Strata, said: “We can confirm that discussions with HS2 are ongoing and that we are progressing towards formalising the details and timescales in relation to the Shimmer estate.

“Throughout this process our residents have been our priority and this continues to be the case. We do understand their frustrations and want to make it clear that we are working towards a resolution and will keep them informed with any updates.”