Renovated 16th Century farmhouse faces demolition to make way for HS2 line

The Nicholson family have been told their farmhouse could be demolished to make way for HS2.
The Nicholson family have been told their farmhouse could be demolished to make way for HS2.
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A couple who have spent thousands on a painstaking renovation of a 16th century farmhouse in the South Yorkshire countryside have been told the property is due to be demolished to make way for the new HS2 line.

Louise Nicholson said her and her husband Howard spent years living in a caravan as they restored the Grade-II listed Nickerwood Farm near Aston after taking on the property in 2012.

Howard and Louise Nicholson have been told their home may be demolished

Howard and Louise Nicholson have been told their home may be demolished

They have now been informed the property could be demolished under the revised route for the new high-speed rail line, which is also due to run through an entire housing estate in Mexborough.

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 homes and businesses in areas such as Bramley, Aston and Swallownest, Barnburgh, Mexborough and Denaby.

Mrs Nicholson questioned whether HS2 bosses had been aware the Grade II-listed farmhouse was on the new route, along with a number of other historic buildings.

Nickerwood Farm before restoration

Nickerwood Farm before restoration

She said: "They didn't even know we existed. They just thought it was a stables.

"We are completely powerless. No one can give us any answers.

"They don't care because it is a national thing.

"One of the questions we have asked at an HS2 meeting is because we are in a conservation area, will planning laws be relaxed? They said they couldn't answer that because the route is only proposed."

Renovation on the property

Renovation on the property

She said that years of restoring the property while carefully complying with stringent building regulations could now go to waste with the farmhouse potentially being bulldozed to make way for the new railway line.

"It was completely derelict, falling down and about to collapse," she said.

"I can't even tell you the pain we gave had dong this house. We had to take it down piece by piece and number the stone so it all went back in exactly the same place. Now it could all just be demolished.

"HS2 is a complete waste of money. It is going to save people 20 minutes on a journey to London and you can't even get on in South Yorkshire.

Howard and Louise Nicholson have been told their home may be demolished

Howard and Louise Nicholson have been told their home may be demolished

"I don't understand why they can't update the existing lines."

A final decision on whether the new route will go ahead is due by the end of the year.