'HS2 stress is making us ill,' say Doncaster residents

Residents living on a Doncaster estate which could be demolished to make way for a proposed HS2 line say uncertainty over its future is making them ill.
Residents living on a Doncaster estate which could be demolished to make way for a proposed HS2 line say uncertainty over its future is making them ill.

Residents living on a Doncaster estate which could be demolished to make way for a proposed HS2 line say uncertainty over its future is making them ill.

Seven months ago every resident on the Shimmer Estate in Mexborough received a letter stating their house may need to be demolished because their estate falls on the proposed HS2 route.

The Government is expected to make a decision on the proposal for the new line, which has been re-routed through Doncaster after a station at Meadowhall was scrapped in favour of a more central Sheffield one, in March.

Mum-of-one Amie Pope has lived on the estate for two years and says the stress caused by ‘being left in limbo’ while they wait for the Government’s decision has caused a number of residents to become ill.

The 39-year-old said: “It’s affected people so much that some people have become ill, some people, including myself, have started taking anti-depressants.

“It’s the uncertainty that’s causing it. We just don’t know what’s going to happen next.

“We were told when that announcement was made that Strata would be in touch all the time and would let us know what’s going on, but we’ve heard nothing more from them.

“The level of communication to everyone here has been ridiculous. When you ask HS2 questions you just get vague answers. Everything I know about what’s going to happen next I’ve had to find out for myself.

“We bought a house in Mexborough because there’s no way we could have got a house of the same standard, with the same surroundings for the same price anywhere else.

“We’re going to move out of the region now, as soon as they give us the money for our house.”

This comes as Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband told residents they have until March next year to ‘make their case’ for the new route being scrapped.

He said: “To this end, there are number of things we need to do - build further support among MPs and councils from the region against this route, build our economic and social impact case against the route and demonstrate community support for our case.

“In order to take this forward, I am meeting with the MPs who signed the original letter against the route that I took to Chris Grayling to plan how we build wider support among other members of parliament and working with the Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, to plan the submission we will put into government to make the economic and impact case against the route.”

The former Labour leader met with residents in Mexborough last week to discuss their concerns about HS2 and its potential impact.