Popular riding school facing demolition to make way for HS2 line

Parklands Equestrian Centre is facing demolition to make way for HS2
Parklands Equestrian Centre is facing demolition to make way for HS2
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A popular equestrian centre in the South Yorkshire countryside is facing demolition to make way for the new HS2 line.

Parklands Equestrian Centre on Worksop Road, Aston, has been operating for around 40 years as a family business and includes a riding school and an indoor arena that allows it to operate throughout the year.

But the centre is now facing an uncertain future after the Sampson family that own it were told the revised route for the new high-speed rail line will go through their land.

Major changes have been made to the intended HS2 route through South Yorkshire after rail bosses scrapped plans for a new station in Meadowhall in favour of a ‘spur’ into Sheffield city centre - a decision officials claim will save £1bn.

But the intended new route running from the Mansfield area up to Wakefield is due to affect hundreds of homes and businesses in areas such as Bramley, Aston and Swallownest, Barnburgh, Mexborough and Denaby.

Richard Sampson, whose parents started the business, said the first time the family had become aware of the plans was when campaigners from the Stop HS2 group visited to tell them they were on the new route - being sent an official letter from HS2 Ltd confirming the news three days later.

"We had a meeting with HS2 which was a complete waste of time. Every question we asked them - they had an answer which gave no information."

He said HS2 told them that because the route decision was yet to be finalised, there was a limit on what information could be provided.

The business employs around 20 people.

It comes after it was revealed a renovated 16th Century farmhouse in Aston is also facing demolition until the new HS2 plans.

Louise and Howard Nicholson spent years renovating the Grade-II listed farmhouse but have now been informed it could be knocked down.

A final decision on whether the route will be used is to be made later this year. Work would not start on building the South Yorkshire stretch of HS2 until the mid-2020s.

An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “The recent recommendations for the route and station proposals in South Yorkshire would impact upon the equestrian centre and this is likely to come as distressing news for all users.

“HS2 Ltd takes its responsibility to the communities and the environment through which the line could pass extremely seriously. Our community engagement team has met with to the owner of the centre and we will continue to engage.

“The Government expects to make a full announcement of the route and stations for the Eastern leg of HS2 in autumn 2016 and further information will be available at this stage.”