Residents speak out over 'nonsense' HS2 route plans for Doncaster

A number of people living on a Mexborough housing development that could be demolished to make way for a new HS2 line say they are worried the plans could leave them 'much worse off'.
A number of people living on a Mexborough housing development that could be demolished to make way for a new HS2 line say they are worried the plans could leave them 'much worse off'.
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A number of people living on a Mexborough housing development that could be demolished to make way for a new HS2 line say they are worried the plans could leave them 'much worse off'.

The concerns were raised at a meeting held at Mexborough Academy last night, that was organised by Mexborough First in response to the plans that were first announced on July 7.

If given the go-ahead, the proposed new route could see more than 200 homes demolished on the Shimmer Estate, which has been partially completed by developer, Strata.

Speaking at the meeting, one resident said that the proposals were 'playing with peoples lives,' and added he was concerned that he and others would not be given a fair deal.

He said: "When they say market value, does that mean now, or does that mean when the deal goes through?

"The houses have increased in value, but what does that mean now? What deal will we be given? I'm worried we're going to be left far worse off and we're not being given any proper answers on this, and probably won't be until November. It's a decision David Higgins has made, but it's our lives and our homes they're playing with."

The report, which recommended that the new route that will also see plans for Sheffield's HS2 link to be located at Meadowhall scrapped, was written by Sir David Higgins.

The meeting was told that Sir Higgins was asked to the meeting, but declined the invitation.

Those in attendance were also told that Doncaster North MP, Ed Miliband was unable to attend the meeting due to a Parliamentary vote on Trident, and that Mayor Ros Jones was unable to make the meeting due to a 'family situation'.

Another resident branded the plans 'a load of nonsense'.

He said: "It's going to cost £125 to get from Leeds to London on this new line, but you can already fly from Leeds to London for £95.

"It's going to cut 10 minutes off a journey, and for that they want to uproot everything. It's not on. I think we've got to fight it."

Councillor, Sean Gibbons, told the meeting that he and the other two Mexborough First representatives had been elected to put Mexborough, and its residents first, but added that the HS2 plans had been 'like a hole in the head'.

To questions of how much he and the other councillors were told prior to the announcement earlier this month, Coun Gibbons continued: "We found out when you did.

"We're going to do everything we can to support everyone impacted and affected by this."