Residents fear financial ruin over plan to run HS2 through new Doncaster housing estate
Following this morning's news that a new proposed HS2 route that could lead to the demolition of a partially completed housing estate, some residents living there say they fear their financial future could be in tatters for plans they believe 'won't benefit anyone' in Doncaster.
Residents living on the Shimmer Estate in Mexborough woke up this morning to the news that their homes could be demolished to make way for a new HS2 route that it is estimated could save the Government around £1billion.
HS2 hand-delivered the same letter to all residents on the estate this morning stating that it is 'likely that the Government would need to acquire some or all your land or property in order to construct the railway'.
Lisa Bryan has lived on the estate with her three daughters and her husband Adam for three years, and says the plans could put the couple in a ‘precarious’ financial position.
She explained: “Our house went on the market five weeks ago because we wanted to downsize and save some money, but now we’re obviously not going to be able to sell it because of this.
“We’ve been told that we would get market value for the house, plus 10 per cent in compensation which is fine but they’re not going to put this before the Government until the Autumn - and the HS2 people said that could be delayed because of having a new Prime Minister and because of the effects of Brexit.
"My husband’s job is at risk so if he was to lose it before we could move then I’m not sure what we could do about the mortgage payments.
"As soon as we got the letters everyone was coming out of their houses saying have you heard this? I think a lot of people feel very angry.
"Really, this isn't a trainline that's going to benefit anyone here. It only takes an hour and 40 minutes to get to London from Doncaster”
Tracy Chambers moved into her property on the estate in 2012. She says she only found out the news, which has left her feeling ‘gobsmacked’ when a neighbour text her this morning.
The 44-year-old said: “When I moved in here I thought that this would be it - this would be my family home for good. I’m still finding hard to take in.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do if my house is knocked down. I live here alone with my three kids and I’ll probably have to move back to Doncaster if it is knocked down and there’s no way I’m going to be able to find a four bedroom house of this quality for £145,000 there. I just couldn't get one for that money.
“I’ve just spent a fortune on decorating my house and getting it the way I want it and now it might all be for nothing.
“To uproot people’s lives, and knock their houses down to save 40 minutes on a journey just seems ridiculous.
“We’re a close-knit community here and I don’t think people can really believe it.
“Some people have only just moved in, and now they’re facing losing their homes before they’ve even settled down.”
Edward Shield and his family were one of the first tenants on the estate when they moved in four years ago, and says he would be prepared to fight the plans if HS2 failed to offer them a ‘fair deal’.
“When my mum split up with my dad, and we moved here we thought this would be our family home for good,” said the 23-year-old.
He added: “The plans my mum’s have seen show a viaduct 15 metres above the estate, and who’s going to want to live with a train going 220 miles an hour through where they live?
"And it’s not like it’s going to benefit anyone here anyway.
"If they don't give us a fair deal, we'll have to fight it, we won't have any other choice.”