Relief and anger for communities on the route of high speed line

Houses on the new Shimmer estate in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, where residents will lose their homes if the Government's preferred route for the second phase of the high-speed rail project goes ahead
Houses on the new Shimmer estate in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, where residents will lose their homes if the Government's preferred route for the second phase of the high-speed rail project goes ahead
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HOMES ON a South Yorkshire housing estate could be bought by the Government before the development is completed.

Residents on the Shimmer estate, in Mexborough, have been told they are likely to qualify for the “express purchase” scheme for homes in the path of HS2.

A major change in the proposed path of HS2 through South Yorkshire announced earlier this year put the future of the new Shimmer estate in doubt.

While the Government is still consulting on that section of the route it has told residents they are likely to be able to sell their homes.

Amy Webster, who lives on the Shimmer Estate, said: “I now plan to make the Governmentbuy my house and move out, to somewhere well out of the way of HS2.

“I think we have been treated disgracefully. There’s been no consultation.

The latest announcement included changes to proposals for the HS2 route near Woodlesford, east of Leeds, where the track will now go through a 1.6km tunnel instead of a viaduct.

Elmet and Rothwell MP Alec Shelbrooke said: “For four years we have campaigned against a proposed branch line that would have seen 20 metre tall concrete viaducts within metres of nearby homes. I’ve worked closely with Ministers and officials to put forward sensible alternatives and I’m delighted that the Government has now acted upon those requests.”

But the change was not universally welcomed.

Rothwell councillor Stewart Golton said: “The line may be further away for the residents blighted by the original proposals but these new plans simply bring the problem closer to an entirely new set of householders.”

Coun Golton said the process had been a “shambled from beginning to end”.

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