HS2 ‘will leave gaping hole’ at the heart of Burton Green community
Villagers are still facing an uncertain future three years on from the first announcement that HS2 would rip through their community.
Burton Green residents have written to government ministers including the Prime Minister in a last desperate plea to save their community after news that a deep bore tunnel is unlikely to go ahead.
At a meeting with MP Jeremy Wright on Friday in the threatened village hall, it was decided that everything possible needed to now be done to try to save the village.
The MP is fighting the case for better compensation deals to help affected communities.
At the meeting were representatives from the residents’ association, parish council and the school all desperate to safeguard their futures after news that a ‘cut and covered’ tunnel right through the village is the current preferred option of HS2 Ld engineers.
Archie Taylor, village Stop HS2 campaigner explained that a deep bore tunnel would instead cut deeper under the ground and prevent homes or the village hall being affected.
But as it is unlikely to go ahead they must look elsewhere. “It will seriously affect the community. People will leave, houses will be boarded up or rented off,” he said.
“The heart of our village will be ripped and it will leave a gaping hole in our community. It just goes against everything the government says about the ‘big society’.
The charity owned almshouses on Cromwell Lane lie just metres from the proposed line and resident, Betty Owen, said she will be left with no choice but to leave her home.
The 90-year-old grandmother said “I’ve been here 19 years, this is my home. I cannot even imagine how this village will be changed, there is talk of having station yards for trains here in our gardens.”
But Ursula Yearsley, whose house on Cromwell Lane also lies within the 60 metre zone said she would never dream of selling up and moving from her home of 50 years.
“It is just such a worry for everyone, the anxiety is too much to cope with,” she said.
“We have been in this position for three years now.”
There are also threats to the school with worries that if large numbers of young families are forced to leave the village, numbers may dwindle and threaten their future.
Final packages for compensation are due to the announced by HS2 Ltd later this month and construction plans by engineers are ongoing as the most feasible options are considered by engineers in line with community forums.
A HS2 spokesperson said no options are yet decided and they will continue to work with communities to find the best solutions possible over the next few months.
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