A COMMUNITY in the path of the proposed HS2 rail link to Leeds has launched a fight back.
More than 50 residents packed a hastily organised meeting at the Two Pointers pub, in Woodlesford, after reading the proposed route of the high speed railway line between Leeds and London will see an up to 14m high viaduct pass by their houses.
Homeowners in the south Leeds village fear the value of their homes has already depreciated between 10 and 40 per cent.
It is thought around 300 houses are affected in the area, with the Maltings, Locks and New Farmers Hill areas expected to be hardest hit, sparking calls for compensation, a change in the route or even for the project to be scrapped.
Resident James Lynch, who helped organise the meeting, told fellow residents: “It seems to have been done with eyes shut and fingers crossed as to whether it will work.
“If the Government can’t afford to compensate people properly then the Government can’t afford the scheme.”
Further fears were voiced about the possibility of homeowners having problems remortgaging or selling their homes in future.
At last night’s meeting, one male resident said: “Apart from the compensation side of this we have got the actual infrastructure to put in place – it’s going to be manic, it’s going to be a construction site.”
Rumours that 12 trains, six each way, will travel on the line every hour were also voiced.
The residents are set to form an official committee and survey locals ahead of fighting the Goverment’s plans.
Coun Stewart Golton (Lib Dem, Rothwell) said: “The lack of concern for families affected by the proposals is appalling.
“House sales have already fallen through, and people fear being unfairly penalised for a development that they could not have foreseen.”
The Government announced draft plans to extend the HS2 line to the north of England a week ago. The plans are due for consultation.
The second phase of HS2 envisages five stops on a 211-mile Y-shaped extension northwards from Birmingham, which is scheduled for completion in 2032, six years after the first phase.
Officials say the £32.7bn project will create at least 100,000 jobs and dramatically cut journey times.