Former Mexborough resident condemns expected Government U Turn on HS2

An angry resident who was forced to move from his Mexborough home has condemned plans to axe the controversial HS2 line as an outrage.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 9:34 am
Former Mexborough resident Andrew Sprotson has condemned the expected decision to axe HS2 extension to Leeds.

Andrew Sprotson moved away from the Shimmer Estate in Mexborough in 2018 after residents were told their homes could face demolition due to the HS2 development.

Now it has been announced that the HS2 rail extension to Leeds is expected to be scrapped.

He said: “I think it is outrageous. I would be surprised if anybody who was there at the time is still left there.

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“What a waste of time, effort and money and the pain it has caused to people’s mental health.

“It cost me a fortune to move house . I could swear a lot. It is just a joke.

“It is unbelievable the amount of money that has been wasted.

“Peoples’ lives have been dramatically changed. For nothing.”

Andrew says he had no choice but to sell his house.

“The houses were unsellable.

“Nobody would buy them because of the railway line and you then had huge issues. We didn’t even get realistic values in the end.”

“It was a 12 months absolute battle with HS2. We even had HS2 breaking GDPR guidelines by telling me what my neighbours were doing, which was outrageous.

“Every day was a strain.”

When he found another house, Andrew says he had a three month battle with HS2 to cover the costs of surveys

“It was not my fault – they were forcing me to sell the house and they were telling me I couldn’t have surveys done on other houses.

“It was just anguish after anguish constantly every single day.

“I spoke to my neighbours and in their view it was the same. They were forced out.

"They were looking to stay there forever. What was it all about?

“There are genuinely a lot of angry people.

“There was a farm there with livestock. I would be interested to see how many of those houses are still there and what is the cost to the Government of buying them plus the legal costs. It’s just horrendous.”

“Once you have signed your house away there’s no going back.This is the price this is what they will give you. It was just very matter of fact.I know of a couple of people who had mental breakdowns over it.

“They just couldn’t cope.”

Mr Sprotson said he found out about the initial HS2 plans via a letter through the letter box at five in the morning.

“After that it was constant aggravation and pushing,” he said.

"I was offered 28 per cent less than I bought the house for the year before and they thought that was acceptable.

“That was where the battle started.Everybody was losing money.

“The worst case was someone who had moved in three days beforehand.

“We got the politicians involved and in fairness to Ed Milliband he was brilliant in terms of trying to get HS2 to be more humane.realistic and understanding of the effects it had on people.

“What I really object to is three or four months ago they said it was going ahead. To change their minds today is just outrageous.”