In Limbo - anti-HS2 campaigners say jitters over compensation costs hold up payments
PEOPLE unable to sell their homes because of the high-speed rail route have suffered another setback after it was revealed that moves to pay compensation have been delayed.
Campaigners had feared a hold up in payments, but it was confirmed for the first time to angry residents at a recent meeting in Kenilworth.
And those battling the HS2 rail line claim the delay is because the Government is “panicking” over compensation payments, saying the high costs will make the rail link “less viable”.
The £17bn line between London and Birmingham will skirt Kenilworth and go through Burton Green using part of the old Kenilworth to Berkswell rail line.
Work is expected to start in 2016 and see trains travelling through Warwickshire at speeds of up to 250mph from 2026.
Joe Rukin, the Stop HS2 campaign co-ordinator, said: “The cost of compensation was never adequately budgeted for by HS2 Ltd - a Government-owned company - and we suspect that underwriters have come in, looked at the schemes on offer and the Government is panicking now it has realised how much this would cost and how much less viable it would make the project as a whole.
“The reason for the delay does not apparently rest with HS2 Ltd but with the Department for Transport.
“HS2 Ltd representatives were unable to make any estimate as to when the consultation would start, and the Department for Transport has been unable to provide any idea of a start date.
“Everything with this project seems to be slipping whilst thousands of people have had their lives put on hold for over two years. HS2 Ltd has already had two consultations on compensation packages.
“There are people with modest houses who have taken hundred thousand pound hits on their asking prices, but still can’t shift them.
“There are people who have been waiting to emigrate for years and pensioners who need to release the equity from their homes to live on who are stuck.”
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “We have been clear that we are committed to delivering a compensation package that is above the minimum required by law.
“We are working hard to develop a package that is appropriate for the unique circumstances of HS2 and will consult shortly on the details.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Kenilworth
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west