Plea to move HS2 villagers together near Weeford

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HS2 imageImage source, Other
Image caption,
HS2 is due to carry 400m-long (1,300ft) trains at speeds of up to 250mph

Villagers in Staffordshire who face losing their homes under plans for the HS2 high-speed rail line say they want to be moved together elsewhere.

About half of the 12 homes in the hamlet, between Weeford and Packington, are due to be demolished and the others would overlook the line.

Resident Jonathan Loescher said they needed HS2 to agree to demolish all the homes to enable their plan to succeed.

HS2 Limited said it had held regular meetings with the residents' group.

Mr Loescher said there were about 12 houses and he estimated about half would be "knocked down at the moment".

'Simple thing'

He added: "Nearly all of us want to be able to relocate to replicate our lives somewhere else nearby in a similar little hamlet.

"The problem is with the planning rules - in order to get planning permission in the greenbelt we would need all of our existing houses demolished so there's no net increase (of homes) in the greenbelt.

"But the problem is we can't get HS2 to agree to the simple thing that they will demolish us all."

In a statement, the rail company said it had held meetings with the Flats Lane and Knox Grave Lane Residents Group to discuss concerns.

It added: "We recognise the uncertainty surrounding the impacts of the scheme in this area causes concern and we will continue to work hard to resolve these issues.

"We are currently reviewing the height of the line in this area as part of the ongoing design process for Phase One of HS2.

"This possible realignment is likely to be included in the draft environmental statement which will be consulted on this spring."

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