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Balsall Common landlord says pub has been rendered "worthless" by HS2

A PUB landlord has said his Balsall Common business has been rendered worthless because of the high-speed rail link which will pass within yards of the building.

A PUB landlord has said his Balsall Common business has been rendered worthless because of the high-speed rail link which will pass within yards of the building.

Licensees Roger and Heather Parker, who have run The Railway Inn since 2006, have revealed how the multi-billion pound scheme has turned their lives upside down.

The Enterprise Inns-owned pub was worth more than £1million and Roger and Heather paid £165,000 for the lease to run the premises, in Truggist Lane, back in 2006.

Prior to HS2, they had the business valued at £175,000 and planned to sell it to fund their retirement.

But when the Department for Transport announced plans for a new £32billion rail line three years ago, the value of the couple’s pub was all but written off overnight.

“As soon as HS2 was announced, there wasn’t an agent interested in marketing it,” said Roger, aged 59.

“Now it’s worth nothing, no one will go near it. We have had three valuations to sell the place but since then it’s been rendered worthless.

“Estate agents just keep telling us they are ‘not in a position to market it’. We want HS2 Ltd to buy it off us but they’re not interested.”

Balsall Common has been earmarked for a 50-acre construction compound and a 7.5metre high viaduct over Truggist Lane, which will be closed for a period during construction.

Roger and Heather have run the Railway Inn for seven years. They previously managed the nearby Brickmakers Arms and the White Swan Hotel, in Henley-in-Arden.

Roger said: “We had no idea when we came here that this would be suggested. It will affect the pub and I don’t think we’ll be able to live here anymore.

“It’s a very stressful situation and we have had very little information about what is happening. Our lives are on hold.”

HS2 bosses have confirmed th pub will be just 180 metres from the line. A HS2 Ltd spokeswoman said: “The consultation on this will give businesses like the Railway Inn an opportunity to raise their concerns and speak to environmental and engineering specialists at events that will run along the route between London and the West Midlands.”

 

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