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Residents raise HS2 concerns at Hampton-in-Arden meeting

RESIDENTS on the front-line of the high speed rail development still have no clue about what compensation they’re entitled to.

RESIDENTS on the front-line of the high speed rail development still have no clue about what compensation they’re entitled to.

The uncertainty hanging over those locals who live near the route of the rail-link was discussed at a council meeting in Hampton-in-Arden last Thursday.

Paul Lucas, from Balsall Common, said that thoseaffected were already “blighted,” with numerous attempts to sell their home falling through.

“The question mark hangs over those whose homes are near the line, but their homes don’t need to be demolished,” he told borough councillors.

“This is something that needs to be looked at as a matter of urgency.”

Coun Ian Courts, who chairs the HS2 Working Party, said the local authority had been “vociferous” in demanding decent compensation for homeowners and tenants.

“It’s not good enough,” he told the meeting. “There are a lot of people sat there at the moment asking what they can do, and the answer seems to be not a lot.”

Meriden MP, Caroline Spelman, added: “It can be difficult for residents in this position. When I started in this constituency [in 1997], there were still people trying to get compensation because they’d been affected by the building of the M42.”

The HS2 Working Party is a cross-party group of members, who are meeting at regular intervals to discuss issues arising from the multi-billion pound rail project.

Among the other concerns raised at the meeting was the loss of local footpaths – 14 will be severed in Solihull – and the design of aqueducts, which will carry the 200mph trains.

Coun Courts said it was important that the structures were attractive and not a “concrete Spaghetti-junction style.”

“Some aqueducts are very pleasant to look at – and some aren’t.

“If the Romans could come up with good designs 2000 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t now.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin this week reinforced the Government’s commitment to the HS2 project, saying it was time to “crack on”.

 

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