Extra cash hopes for Doncaster residents threatened by proposed HS2 demolitions

Officials may offer thousands of pounds more to residents on a Mexborough estate which is threatened by high speed rail plans.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 12th June 2017, 2:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 11:41 am
The Shimmer estate, Mexborough
The Shimmer estate, Mexborough

Dozens of households on the Shimmer estate, between Mexbrough and Denaby Main, have been warned their houses could be demolished under proposals to route HS2 through its site.

Under the proposed route which would take the track through Mexborough and the Dearne Valley, and past villages such as Barnburgh, Harlington and Hickleton, the houses would be subject to compulsory purchase orders and then knocked down.

Residents had initially expected they would receive the market value of the house, plus 10 per cent to cover the inconvenience they were being put through.

But now some residents believe they may be paid a further 10 per cent on top of that to reflect how much their homes would have been worth if the estate on which they have been built had been completed - rather than having still been a building site.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: "The last update we had was that we were waiting to see if a new build premium would apply. That is because the estate is currently a building site, and that is not valued as highly as if it was a completed estate.

"I think people are split half and half over if they just want to get on with it and leave, or if they want to stay until the bitter end."

Jonathan Kelsall,aged 28, a computer engineer living on the estate, said he though most people had now accepted what was going to happen in terms of demolitions. He said he had been told the situation may be resolved by the end of the year.

He said one of his neighbours had already had their home valued at £97,000.

Resident Dean Aird, aged 29, a IT worker, said he wanted the agreements to be completed soon as he needed to move house. "We had the house sold, and the buyer cancelled," he said. "I just want them to get a move on now." he said.

Nicola Mulbourn, aged 39, said she was expecting a valuer next week to see her home. She said: "We're still in limbo, although we heard it may be finished by the end of the year."

Meanwhile, community leaders have asked for a meeting with the Department for Transport next week to discuss the HS2 plans, which have attracted opposition from Doncaster's politicians.

Mexborough ward councillor on Doncaster Council, Andy Pickering, said they were hoping the plans would go to a judicial review.

He said: "Things have slowed down because there has been a long election period, with the local elections and then the general election.

"We contacted the DFT last week and we still want to push the point that we think this whole thing needs to be looked at again. Now we have had an unexpected election we would hope it may have changed some opinions."

Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed Transport Secretary Chris Grayling would remain in post in a cabinet re-shuffle this week.

A spokesperson for HS2 said: “We recognise that this is a difficult time for Shimmer Estate residents.

“Residents are under no obligation to make a decision to sell their property at this time, as construction of the route would not begin until 2023 at the earliest if an HS2 route through the estate is confirmed. A decision is expected to be made later this year.

“The Department for Transport commissioned a report looking at some of the challenges faced by the residents of the Shimmer Estate and we will be publishing the findings once it is finalised.”