Church Fenton villagers angry over planned HS2 rail link

Anxious villagers attend the meeting to find out more about the impact the proposed high-speed rail link would have on their community

Anxious villagers attend the meeting to find out more about the impact the proposed high-speed rail link would have on their community

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Hundreds of people crammed into a North Yorkshire village hall last night to discuss the implications of Britain's new high speed railway for their community.

Householders at Church Fenton, near Tadcaster, have been told several homes in the village could be demolished to make way for the tracks that are planned to link York with the HS2 Leeds to London railway line.

Parish councillors said they organised the event to give residents more details of the proposals and to gauge their reactions.

The hall was so crowded that some villagers were unable to get in and stood in the cold, straining to hear what was being said inside.

The Press wanted to attend the event, but on arrival was told that it was a private meeting to which the media were not invited.

Parish councillors explained that they expected some villagers to be very upset and they felt it was not appropriate for the media to be present when that happened.

Before they went in to the meeting, some residents gave The Press their views.

They included concerns about how the railway would impact on the local environment and the potential loss of several homes. Others said they disagreed with the amount of money being spent on HS2.

Martyn Whyte said: “I am opposed to HS2 altogether. I think the money could be spent in much better ways.

“A lot of people in the village are upset about this and feelings are running very high. There are no positives for the village.”

Darren Collier said he was completely opposed to the scheme which he understood would include a track structure 40 feet above the current ground level.

Lisa Haslam said: “I am concerned about the impact on the environment and people's homes.”

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said the proposed railway would come very close to her home on the edge of the village. “I am not very happy,” she said.

The Department for Transport has said it is too early to say how many properties will be affected by HS2 and work would continue to mitigate the route and limit potential blight throughout the design process.

Comments (6)

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10:14am Tue 5 Feb 13

CHISSY1 says...

"Please have some consideration for all trainspotters everywhere,stop complaining you might want to join them".
"Please have some consideration for all trainspotters everywhere,stop complaining you might want to join them". CHISSY1
  • Score: 0

10:34am Tue 5 Feb 13

myselby says...

so this public meeting was private and no media were allowed in - very open and democratic-
so this public meeting was private and no media were allowed in - very open and democratic- myselby
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Stevie D says...

Church Fenton is already a major railway junction with more than a dozen trains (many of them intercity trains) passing every hour. The HS2 line will be further from the village than the current tracks. While there may be some disruption and noise during construction work, it's unlikely that they will notice any real difference once the line is operational.
Church Fenton is already a major railway junction with more than a dozen trains (many of them intercity trains) passing every hour. The HS2 line will be further from the village than the current tracks. While there may be some disruption and noise during construction work, it's unlikely that they will notice any real difference once the line is operational. Stevie D
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Tue 5 Feb 13

bob the builder says...

Stevie D wrote:
Church Fenton is already a major railway junction with more than a dozen trains (many of them intercity trains) passing every hour. The HS2 line will be further from the village than the current tracks. While there may be some disruption and noise during construction work, it's unlikely that they will notice any real difference once the line is operational.
.. apart from the fact that until it is built you can't sell a property in the alleged route as no bank will value it at above £0, and lend against it. No cash buyer is going to risk it, so any resident is in limbo for the next 20 years.
[quote][p][bold]Stevie D[/bold] wrote: Church Fenton is already a major railway junction with more than a dozen trains (many of them intercity trains) passing every hour. The HS2 line will be further from the village than the current tracks. While there may be some disruption and noise during construction work, it's unlikely that they will notice any real difference once the line is operational.[/p][/quote].. apart from the fact that until it is built you can't sell a property in the alleged route as no bank will value it at above £0, and lend against it. No cash buyer is going to risk it, so any resident is in limbo for the next 20 years. bob the builder
  • Score: 0

1:50am Wed 6 Feb 13

Magicman! says...

There is a compensation scheme in operation which will allow the house to be sold... perhaps the villagers should have investigated that at their meeting.

Currently the village is on a junction which, as Stevie D states, has several passenger trains every hour plus freight - all of them diesel, including the class 185 Transpennine trains which have the loudest engines in the area.

HS2 will be served by all-electric trains, and likely elevated above ground level complete with either thick fences or concrete barriers on each side (similar to along a motorway) so as to deflect noise upward rather than sideways.

Also, who wants to be there wouldn't be so many complaints if Church Fenton had a station? It is because trains will pass through but Church Fenton won't benefit from it that is causing people to complain. This is happening up and down the proposed route, and it happened with the first phase in the Chilterns. I bet people living in the suburbs right next to what will be the Manchester International station aren't complaining as much! The street right in front of our house was dug up to lay a fibre optic cable to serve a nearby school - we didn't benefit from it and access to driveways was blocked during the daytimes, but residents didn't protest against it. To be honest I think we've probably gone too far in terms of consultation - compared to when railways were first built. During Railway Mania anybody who owned property in the way of the railway got paid over the odds for their property. Perhaps this is the way to go - pay the land/house owner market value +20% and buy the property outright then let the people live in them rent free unless they want to move and then let the property out and claim rent from tenants who know their contract will expire when the property needs to be demolished....
There is a compensation scheme in operation which will allow the house to be sold... perhaps the villagers should have investigated that at their meeting. Currently the village is on a junction which, as Stevie D states, has several passenger trains every hour plus freight - all of them diesel, including the class 185 Transpennine trains which have the loudest engines in the area. HS2 will be served by all-electric trains, and likely elevated above ground level complete with either thick fences or concrete barriers on each side (similar to along a motorway) so as to deflect noise upward rather than sideways. Also, who wants to be there wouldn't be so many complaints if Church Fenton had a station? It is because trains will pass through but Church Fenton won't benefit from it that is causing people to complain. This is happening up and down the proposed route, and it happened with the first phase in the Chilterns. I bet people living in the suburbs right next to what will be the Manchester International station aren't complaining as much! The street right in front of our house was dug up to lay a fibre optic cable to serve a nearby school - we didn't benefit from it and access to driveways was blocked during the daytimes, but residents didn't protest against it. To be honest I think we've probably gone too far in terms of consultation - compared to when railways were first built. During Railway Mania anybody who owned property in the way of the railway got paid over the odds for their property. Perhaps this is the way to go - pay the land/house owner market value +20% and buy the property outright then let the people live in them rent free unless they want to move and then let the property out and claim rent from tenants who know their contract will expire when the property needs to be demolished.... Magicman!
  • Score: 0

10:29am Wed 6 Feb 13

MrsHoney says...

I think these people have every right to protest. Some of them may have their houses knocked down, and no amount of compensation can make up for losing your home (unless you didn't really like it that much). Also, just because there are some train lines there already it doesn't mean they should just put up with a new one with no objection. From what they said on the news last night it will be raised and so rather than a nice view of the countryside people will now have that to look at. I think if I'd spent a lot of money on a nice house in the country I'd be more than a bit peed off about it! Plus from what I've read the compensation scheme is complete rubbish.
I think these people have every right to protest. Some of them may have their houses knocked down, and no amount of compensation can make up for losing your home (unless you didn't really like it that much). Also, just because there are some train lines there already it doesn't mean they should just put up with a new one with no objection. From what they said on the news last night it will be raised and so rather than a nice view of the countryside people will now have that to look at. I think if I'd spent a lot of money on a nice house in the country I'd be more than a bit peed off about it! Plus from what I've read the compensation scheme is complete rubbish. MrsHoney
  • Score: 0

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