Fears that HS2 could see land prices plummet
HIGH speed rail could devalue land in Kenilworth by up to 90 per cent and a knock-on effect for house prices is already beginning to show before the track is even approved, according to town councillors.
Noise fears are also growing with news that sound pollution near the town could be the worst anywhere along the HS2 line and blight up to 2,000 people living alongside the new track.
Figures from Freedom of Information requests by HS2 Action Alliance show the Government’s landscape impact value - which estimates the cash value of green space to Britain and the environment - has dropped dramatically since being last calculated in 2010. Value could fall by up to 90 per cent and have a devastating effect on house prices.
But Cllr Richard Davies said many people simply did not seem to understand the severe implications of the proposals.
“This is already having an impact on house prices and people need to be aware of the position they are in, the effect on the whole town will just be massive,” he said.
“I have already noticed properties along the route taking longer to sell. People’s houses are their most important asset.
“They struggle to buy them and to keep them and then something like this comes along and threatens all that and their enjoyment of where they live. It is quite severe.”
He said the introduction of high speed rail in France saw house prices drop by around 40 per cent which was “a very big worry”.
Town and district councillors discussed proposals with engineers at a liaison forum but described the meetings as “not very reassuring” with announcements that the town could be more blighted by noise than any other along the proposed route.
It is also proposed to build work camps in the town. There has been no detailed talk of compensation for affected land at this stage.
All residents are urged to attend an information day at Kenilworth School from 10am to 4pm on October 20 to find out exactly where they stand.
Cllr Coker said they expect to see a ‘design snapshot’ of in November when the real impact will be more clear.
“The picture seems to be getting worse all the time,” he said.
“On top of everything else, we are looking at the possibility of three construction camps, transformers and road alterations. Installation alone will bring the town to a standstill.”
New transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin has said he wants to see legislation for the track go through by 2015 as planned and that he intends to publish Phase 2 before the end of the year. The town council has written to transport ministers to repeat its opposition.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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