Villagers hit out at ‘unfair’ HS2 home-buy plans

Ellesborough Road, which is right on the route of HS2
Ellesborough Road, which is right on the route of HS2

The scheme which has seen neighbours just metres apart receive different offers from HS2 Ltd for buying their homes is ‘ridiculous’, residents have said.

Last week the secretary of state for transport announced the creation of a ‘safeguarded’ zone 60 metres either side of the proposed route.

This means anyone living within this zone may have their home bought at the price it would have sold for before HS2 was announced, as well as additional compensation and disturbance costs, such as for removals.

However, the scheme means neighbours just a few metres further away will get no compensation, although those within 120 metres will have their home’s price guaranteed if they wish to move.

Caroline Benson, who lives with her family in Ellesborough Road, Wendover, just a couple of houses down from where the safeguarding zone starts, said they feel in ‘limbo’.

Mrs Benson said: “We should be in the safeguarding zone. It’s not really fair.

“We are going to have to move because we can’t bring our child up in a construction site.”

Paddy Fell lives three houses away from the safeguarding zone in the same road. He said he doesn’t see the point of making the distinction.

Mr Fell said: “If it’s going to affect you it’s going to affect you.

“We would like to stay around here because the children are in school.

“We will have to have a big family discussion about it if it does go ahead.”

HS2 Ltd has sent letters to 31 homes and three businesses in Aylesbury Vale to let them know they are in the safeguarding zone.

Kaye Walsh lives in Ellesborough Road with her family and is in the zone.

She said: “I suppose it’s a relief that they will guarantee the price of the house. But we had a view to be staying here forever.”

Another resident in the zone, Geoff Scopes, said: “It’s the least that they can do.

“It seems ridiculous that other people are so close and will have massive disruption but are not getting the same offer.”l;