Anger as Mexborough will lose more homes to HS2 than any other settlement in the country
Mexborough will lose more homes to make way for HS2 than any other settlement in the UK, new figures show.
The South Yorkshire town, which falls under the Doncaster Council boundary, shows HS2 bosses have purchased 73 properties at a combined cost of £9.5 million.
The figures, collated by anti-HS2 campaigners, show the number of compulsory purchase orders increasing from the original figure of 16, to 63 before Christmas and now 73 in March.
But rail bosses claim not all properties under a compulsory purchase order will be knocked down.
Wendover in Buckinghamshire is the next most affected with 52 homes while South Yorkshire neighbours Rotherham are set to lose 22 homes.
But Mexborough First councillors believe the demolition figure could increase to around 200 and are calling for a public inquiry into how HS2 bosses have handled the situation.
Campaigners say they are also concerned about the valuations process around buying the homes from affected residents.
Anti-HS2 campaigner Chris Matthewman said valuations have been up to £20,000 different for two identical houses and called the whole process a ‘national scandal’.
Mexborough First Coun Sean Gibbons, said he wasn’t surprised that the town is the most affected by HS2 and said the demolitions figure was just the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
“A lot of people will be very surprised at what’s going on behind the scenes and we continue to work hard to support residents affected by this,” he said.
“We’re appalled at how people in this community have been treated by HS2 – people are getting bought out and they’re not getting proper compensation.
“People are fighting for pennies in comparison to this severely bloated project.
“This figure is just the tip of the iceberg – HS2 has lied about the number of demolitions in Mexborough and they’re trying to hold the real number back – we real number will be around 200 homes.”
Chris Matthewman, chairman of Bramley HS2 Action Group who published the figures, said: “HS2 claimed in 2016 that there would 16 demolitions on the Shimmer estate – they have already purchased 73 properties.
“Residents in Mexborough and Bramley have raised their concerns surrounding the valuation process that HS2 has employed when purchasing property.
“The sheer scale of property impact in Mexborough, and many other areas along the planned M18 eastern route, along with the valuation process HS2 has employed is a national scandal and should be subject to an independent investigation.”
A HS2 Ltd spokesman said: “Not all properties purchased by HS2 are required for demolition, and we have never stated that 73 Mexborough properties are earmarked for demolition. Recognising the unique nature of the Shimmer Estate, the whole development was safeguarded in 2016, enabling all eligible homeowners to sell their property to the Government.
“In addition to safeguarding, a number of properties fall into the Rural Support Zone which allows eligible homeowners to sell their property to the Government at market value. Our discretionary schemes allow people to assess their options and make the right decision for them.”