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East Midlands Chamber News

Solicitor Helps Householders Affected By Proposed HS2 Route

The HS2 MeetingA group of Long Eaton people whose homes could be demolished to make way for the High Speed Two rail line have started down the track for compensation, with the help of a legal firm.

Residents of Trent Cottages met commercial property lawyer Jonathan Ho of Ellis-Fermor & Negus at the company's office in the town.

Ironically, the 11 cottages were built by the Midland Railway in 1863 to house workers at the then Trent station, which closed in the 1960s.

But they could be pulled down as they are on the current proposed route of the HS2 extension from Birmingham to Leeds as it heads towards the planned new East Midlands station at Toton.

Residents only found out that their homes could disappear when a television news team knocked on their doors wanting to interview the householders.

Jonathan, who is based at the Beeston office of Ellis-Fermor & Negus, has also been helping people affected by compulsory purchase orders for properties on the route of the extension of the Nottingham tram network to Chilwell.

He said people have been put in a difficult situation as 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..

Ex-railwayman Roger Lynn, of No 5 Trent Cottages, and his wife Margaret have lived there the longest. Their home is surrounded by six rail lines, but there are benefits.

“We are not blighted by the trains at present; we have countryside at the front and back. I can demonstrate that by living there happily for 43 years,” he said.

“These cottages are unique. Wherever we go from here we will not be able to find a place like it, except Downton Abbey.

“It all came as a big shock to us. This is life-changing, something that we never gambled on happening and extremely stressful.”

Ralph Garrard and his wife Janet have lived at No 2 for 30 years and agree it's a beautiful place to live. They have spent thousands of pounds 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.”

Jonathan said the issue was not about the pros and cons of HS2 or NIMBYism(Not In MY Back Yard).

“These people are alert as to what may happen to the homes that they have lived in and looked after, for decades in some cases.

“It's a case of looking after people's interests and making them more aware of their rights as property owners.”

He has offered to help people on a Department of Transport consultation about an interim scheme for compensation to people affected by HS2 who may wish to sell before any final decision is made on the route and demolition.

Also present at the meeting were Mark Philpott and David Moakes of estate agents Robert Ellis who advised on valuation issues.

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