A COUPLE have told of their ‘awful shock’ after discovering Britain’s new high-speed rail line is set to run straight through their home.
Pensioners David and Rosemary Nattriss fear their detached house in Common Lane, on the outskirts of Church Fenton, near Tadcaster, would have to be demolished to make way for a rail spur linking York to HS2.
But they said yesterday they had not been told anything by Government officials, and were only alerted when a parish councillor came to their home at 10.45am yesterday and showed them a map of the planned route.
“We are both very upset,” said Mr Nattriss, 85, who was born in the house and has lived there all his life. “We are just in shock at the moment.”
His wife, who has lived there for 42 years and whose pride and joy is the one-acre back garden, said: “It’s an awful shock. It’s a terrible shock.”
She said they might want to sell the house soon to move into something smaller, but now fear the HS2 plans would blight it and make it impossible to sell.
“At 8 o’clock this morning we had a house that was sellable,” she said. “At 10.45, we had a house that wasn’t sellable.”
They said they had not yet begun to think about questions such as compensation, nor did they know with whom to raise such questions.
Parish councillor Stephen Johnson said he believed the line would run through, or very close to four properties in the village, and a public meeting would be organised to enable residents to ask questions and have their say.
Another villager, Martin Blakey, said the line would also run through two six acre fields which had been designated a wildlife habitat, where creatures included kingfishers, deer and water voles.
A Department for Transport spokesman said the Secretary of State for Transport had written yesterday to people owning buildings and/or land considered at risk of having to be acquired as a result of HS2.
He said it was too early to say how many properties would be affected and work would continue to mitigate the route and limit potential blight throughout the design process.
“The Government has also launched a consultation on an Exceptional Hardship Scheme (EHS) for those potentially affected by blight and uncertainty,” he said.
He added that Phase One – the route from London to Birmingham, where the Government was further along the process – was already consulting on a generous package which went above and beyond what was set out in law.
“This includes an advanced and voluntary purchase scheme, a sale and rent back scheme and a hardship scheme. There is no question of compulsorily purchasing any property prior to 2015,” he said.