"Our last home was demolished due to council housing plans - now HS2 is scuppering our plans to buy our house in Mexborough"

They were evicted from their Doncaster home by re-generation plans 10 years ago.

By David Kessen
Friday, 21st June 2019, 9:33 am

And now they fear HS2 plans are scuppering their future home plans again.

Bernie Bawden and John Shaw had to leave their Doncaster council home on Windhill Avenue, Mexborough, because it was being demolished as part of the Pathfinder housing regeneration project.

The site where it was located has still not been built on.

The HS2 consultation event at Mexborugh Pastures Hotel

Now they have tried to buy the council house they were re-located to on Don View, Mexbough – but they cannot get a mortgage because the property is only 57m from the planned rail route.

That is just outside the area where houses are being bought up by HS2 as part of the ‘safeguarding zone’

Bernie and John want to buy the house, because they have spent their own money on improvements including the kitchen, the bathroom and the landscaped garden.

But all the lenders they have approached for morgages have rated the value of their home as zero.

Bernie said: “We put an application in under right to buy. We filled the forms in, and the council put a value to it. The said it was worth £67,000 initially. Since then they have valued it at £80,000.

“But when we have contacted the mortgage companies, they have valued it at zero.

“We’re fed-up to the back teeth. We daren’t spend any more money on it now. There are bits that are half decorated, and we feel like we’re in limbo.

“We would be happy to live there, even if there is the rail line. We know there will be the trains, but we feel we would still be in a better position than if we had to move to a new house.”

The couple live in the house with their nine year old soe, Alfie Shaw, who has been brought up there.

As tenants, they would get a discount on the price they had to pay – but without a mortgage they cannot move forward.

HS2 says both HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport are having ongoing discussions with UK Finance about properties close to the proposed track that have been given a zero value rating.

They issued a statement which said: “It is a concern to us and something we disagree with.

“We see no reason why a mortgage should not be given to a property just because it is in safeguarding, as there can be a guaranteed purchaser in HS2 Ltd if a lender has to take possession.

“Whilst we appreciate that valuations are a matter for individual surveyors and lenders, we continue to actively encourage mortgage providers to speak with us directly to fully understand our statutory and non-statutory property compensation schemes, and incorporate that into their decision-making process.”

UK finance also issued a statement. It stated: “Mortgage lenders will make their own lending decisions based on their individual risk appetites. The valuations of properties are carried out by independent valuers and lenders must take their view into consideration. They will factor in the various schemes offered by HS2 and we work with HS2 to ensure that they have a full understanding of these.”