Meeting raises fears for 'like-for-like' HS2 compensation deals in Doncaster
Residents fear they could lose out under HS2 compensation plans, following the first of a new type of consultation meeting in Mexborough.
Residents and local political leaders met with officials from HS2 and the Department for Transport at the new HS2 Mexborough Advisory Forum, at Mexborough Business Centre - but is has sparked fears that home owners will not given a like-for like home if they have to move due to the high speed rail route.
Coun Andy Pickering, who represents Mexborough on Doncaster Council, said residents wanted to have like-for-like homes, so, for instance, a three bedroom house with a garage would be replaced with another three bedroom house with a garage elsewhere.
But he and residents at the meeting says they were told there was no guarantee of any such deal. However the Government says it is committed to helping Shimmer estate homeowners secure a comparable local home
Coun Pickering said: "We've been labouring under the idea that like-for-like is on the table, but it seems that it may not be, and that was the elephant that walked into the room at the meeting.
"I think they need to get their act together and have a serious look at what compensation packages will be on offer, or residents will be losing life-changing amounts of money."
One resident, who asked not to be named, said it would 'leave us stuffed' if the Government stuck to valuations which had been put forward previously which were lower than what many people had paid for properties on the Shimmer estate, where a number of homes would have to be demolished under the planned route for the line.
A DfT spokesperson said: “The Government remains committed to helping Shimmer Estate homeowners who need support to secure a local comparable home, and ensure they are not financially worse off. Options to deliver this are at an early stage, and the Forum held earlier this week was an important step forward.
“We will be working with home owners on the estate in coming weeks to establish their future housing needs.”
The new forum meetings were brought in by ministers to try to help improve the relationship between HS2 bosses at Doncaster residents.
The meetings were set up after rail minister, Paul Maynard, visited Mexborough last month, and spoke to residents who raised concerns over the amount of information they were getting on the plans.