Residents’ anger as rail threat to Sheffield homes remains

Residents of Station Road, Killamarsh, who fear their homes will be demolished to make way for the new high speed railway.
Residents of Station Road, Killamarsh, who fear their homes will be demolished to make way for the new high speed railway.
0
Have your say

Owners of homes threatened by the planned high speed rail line have reacted angrily after the route was changed to avoid a Sheffield steelworks - but their properties were left in the firing line.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s office confirmed last week that the proposed route at Meadowhall would be changed to avoid the Firth Rixson steelworks.

The old Court house and police station in Renishaw could be demolished due to HS2. David and Deidre King.

The old Court house and police station in Renishaw could be demolished due to HS2. David and Deidre King.

The move, which secures several hundred jobs, followed intervention on the firm’s behalf by Mr Clegg and other Sheffield politicians, including Brightside and Hillsborough Labour MP David Blunkett.

But residents in Renishaw and Killamarsh, where dozens of homes lie in the way of the line, are furious no changes are planned in their area despite them complaining to North East Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel.

Retired policeman, lecturer and local government worker David King, aged 71, who lives with wife Deirdre in the former police station and court house at Renishaw, said: “Nick Clegg has exercised what would appear to be undue influence in getting the line changed when we still have a consultation about the original route.

“My house, which dates back to 1904, The Sitwell Arms and other historic buildings are under threat in what is a conservation area. Natascha Engel raised our plight in the Queen’s Speech debate but nothing has happened.”

Mr King, who has an extensive collection of police and military memorabilia dating back to the Napoleonic era, and which is on show to the public, is worried he will not be able to find a suitable replacement home to accommodate his displays.

Andy King, of Station Road, Killamarsh, added: “We’ve been told the route of the line cannot be moved by more than a metre yet they can put a bend in where it suits the needs of business. We have still not been told exactly how many homes on our street are at risk because, as well as the line itself, there is a buffer zone in which buildings will also have to be removed.

“To hear the Government can step in to protect Firth Rixson but not do anything for homeowners is riling.”

Labour MP Ms Engel said: “I am still in discussions with the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. The impact on these small communities is going to be devastating, when they will receive none of the benefits.”