HS2 bosses say their controversial plans for a new route through South Yorkshire will result in 43 homes and businesses being demolished - just one-third of the number of the original Meadowhall route.
Much of the concern of the new route has centred around the 212-home Shimmer estate in Mexborough which is directly on the line. But HS2 bosses say they estimate only 16 homes on the estate will need to be knocked down.
But campaigners say those living close to the new route will still leave their homes - leaving thriving estates as empty as after a ‘nuclear bomb’.
Chris Matthewman, from the Bramley Stop HS2 Action Group, said the new line will still ‘break up communities’ as those living near the route whose homes are not demolished will still want to move away.
Mr Matthewman said people living in the houses not due for demolition are likely to sell their properties to the Government and they will then be offered out for rent as no-one is likely to want to purchase them.
“If you take the Shimmer estate as an example, we have got hold of a map that shows the high-speed trains going straight through the estate on a 25ft-high viaduct. Those on the line of the viaduct will be demolished and the others will be left.
“But effectively the whole of the Shimmer estate will be an estate after a nuclear bomb has gone off - there will be nobody there. They might as well demolish them all as far as the community are concerned.”
The original Meadowhall plan - scrapped earlier this year in a cost-saving move - would have seen 127 properties demolished.
An HS2 spokesman said: “At this very early stage in design, potential direct property impacts along an alternative Meadowhall route would be around 127 compared to around 43 along the M18 route.”
In summer, HS2 bosses scrapped plans for a new station in Meadowhall in favour of a ‘spur’ into Sheffield city centre.
Transport bosses say their alternative ‘M18 route’ will save almost £1bn.
But there has been huge anger at the proposed new route through South Yorkshire, which is to pass through places including Barlbrough, Aston, Bramley, Wales and Mexborough.