'Eye-opening' legal brief for group whose homes face demolition by HS2
A GROUP of Long Eaton residents whose homes could be demolished to make way for the High Speed Two rail line have sought legal advice.
Residents of Trent Cottages met commercial property lawyer Jonathan Ho of Ellis-Fermor & Negus at the company's office in the town.
The 11 cottages affected were built by the Midland Railway in 1863 to house workers at the Trent station, which closed in the 1960s.
But the homes are earmarked to be pulled down because they are on the proposed route of the HS2 extension from Birmingham to Leeds as it approaches the planned new East Midlands station at Toton.
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Mr Ho said: "People have been put in a difficult situation.
"For years ahead, the proposed route will have an effect on people wanting to sell their homes at the market value of their property, regardless of whether or not the current scheme goes ahead."
Former railwayman Roger Lynn and his wife, Margaret, have lived at Trent Cottages for the longest of those affected.
Their home is surrounded by six railway lines, but there are benefits, said Mr Lynn.
"We are not blighted by the trains at present; we have countryside at the front and back," he said.
"I can demonstrate that by having lived there happily for 43 years."
"It all came as a big shock to us.
"This is life-changing, something that we never gambled on happening and is extremely stressful."
Ralph Garrard and his wife, Janet, have spent thousands of pounds over the past 30 years putting in a new bathroom, kitchen, staircase, flooring and windows.
"This meeting has opened our eyes to the uphill battle we face," he said.
"I'm 75 and I don't want to be moving when I'm 80 or 90."
Mr Ho said the issue was not about the pros and cons of HS2 or nimbyism.
He said: "It's a case of looking after people's interests and making them more aware of their rights as property owners."
HS2's director of external and parliamentary relations, Clinton Leeks, said: "The Government is bringing forward the public consultation on the route and this will give everyone a chance to have their say.
"Wherever practicable, the proposed route has been designed to minimise potential impacts on people and properties as well as important environmental features.
"The Government has published proposals for an exceptional hardship scheme for property owners whose properties may be affected by the preferred route for the second phase of HS2 to Leeds and Manchester and we are consulting on these proposals."