Sheffield & South Yorkshire

HS2 route: Mexborough residents 'deserted' by demolition plan

Shimmer estate
Image caption Residents on the Shimmer estate recieved letters at 16:00 BST informing them of the decision

Residents of a new housing estate set to be partly bulldozed for HS2 say they feel "deserted" after the move was confirmed.

Homes on the Shimmer estate in Mexborough, South Yorkshire will be cleared to make way for the high-speed rail line.

No new stations have been announced for the area, with a spur serving Sheffield using existing track.

The government said HS2 will create a "stronger and fairer" Britain.

More updates on this story and others in South Yorkshire

The proposed South Yorkshire HS2 route, part of phase 2b of the project, runs east of Sheffield towards the M18 and was consulted in 2016.

A Department for Transport report states the route requires 16 residential demolitions on the Shimmer estate, with people affected arranging compensation packages with the government.

Image caption Sue Douglas and her husband Peter are reluctantly searching for somewhere to move away from Shimmer

Sue Douglas, a Shimmer resident, said: "We've had a year in limbo, our health has been affected by this and we no longer feel like it's our home.

"It's an unfinished estate, there are unfinished houses, no proper roads, no proper pavements."

At the scene -Tom Ingall, BBC Look North transport correspondent

Some people living on the Shimmer estate have signs on their doors saying "Stop HS2", others have a temporary 'no media' taped below.

It shows how angry and dispirited many have become since the BBC revealed the new route a year ago.

Today then was a rubber stamp on what they had feared.

This is not just about the value of bricks and mortar, but the notion of "home" itself.

It seems likely many will choose to sell up and move on - for some their second move in three years.

Her husband, Peter Douglas, said: "There is only one way in and out of the estate and we have been told by HS2 that nobody would be allowed to live here because of the construction traffic coming in and out, blocking the access.

"Bear in mind this is the construction of a viaduct that's going to be 20ft in the sky coming within 10ft of your property, and they say, 'it's ok, your property isn't one that has to be knocked down.'"

Image caption The government report stated 16 properties at the Shimmer estate would need to be bulldozed

Rotherham's Labour MP Sarah Champion tweeted she was "furious" at the eastern line decision as South Yorkshire "won't get a proper stop".

She said: "Thousands of us submitted to the HS2 consultation and showed why the eastern route was not as suitable as the Meadowhall route.

"South Yorkshire will now get all of the disruption of HS2 without the benefit."

In response to the 2016 route consultation, 271 people supported the eastern option, with 4,157 respondents against it.

At the Shimmer estate, some respondents argued that the plans should take into account all 216 homes originally planned at the site.

Rail Minister Paul Maynard MP said: "I recognise that we need to work with the people of the Shimmer estate to make sure they have as many choices as possible over how they are compensated and the compensation package works for them.

"It's quite a unique location on the network, so we need to work with local people to get it just right."

Image copyright Empics
Image caption Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones says the move was the wrong decision

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: "The Secretary of State has chosen the route that nobody wanted, despite the overwhelming evidence against it and public opposition to it.

"His decision will destroy people's homes and damage communities, deliver fewer trains, slower services, and reduce job creation and economic growth."

No details were released about a mooted HS2 "parkway" station providing a rail park and ride facility for the South Yorkshire region.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the £55.7bn HS2 project would connect London to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and the East Midlands in a Y-shaped network.

Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to the East Midlands and Leeds, is due to open in 2033.

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