HS2 visits Derbyshire village at centre of ‘spur’ row

Anti-HS2 protesters in Newton, Derbyshire.

Residents who live in a village that will be ‘cut in two’ by HS2 have once again voiced their opposition to the plan.

On Thursday, representatives of the controversial rail project were invited to Newton near Alfreton, to listen to people’s concerns.

Newton HS2 protests, campaigner Tony Mellors

While the villagers remain vehemently opposed to the plan in principal, they are also keen for HS2 to explain how they can minimise its impact should their campaign to stop it fail.

Tony Mellors, leader of the HS2 Blackwell Group, said: “We are trying to engage with anybody who will engage with us.

“We want the best outcome for everybody in the village.”

“This includes people whose houses are going to have to come down as well as those who will be next to the line.

Newton HS2 protests

“Some people can apply for compensation now but others will have to wait until 2022 as they are more than 120 yards from the line.

“House prices are already stagnating and we don’t believe that the compensation on offer is good enough.”

HS2 says there will be five houses in the village that need to be demolished to accommodate the track - but the campaign group believes it will be closer to 30.

HS2 says the ambiguity is down to ‘construction logistics’, an issue that will not be finalised for some time.

Newton HS2 protests

“People also don’t know where they stand in terms of the road closures,” added Tony.

“Are they are going to be able to get to work, how much longer is it going to take them and how long will the disruption last?”

After the last meeting in nearby Hilcote, the group understood that HS2 was still open to looking at alternative routes in the area.

At last Thursday’s meeting, however, HS2 told the group it would have to go through ‘the parliamentary process’ if it wanted to explore this further.

Newton HS2 protests, residents at the latest consultation meeting

Chris Pateman, area manager for HS2 Phase 2b, said: “When you see the line of the route and the potential impact on the community, the concern is understandable.

“The residents want to know what is the next stage in the process so I have been explaining the mitigation options that we will consult on next year.”

“But we have also had our land and property experts on hand here to give guidance those who qualify for compensation.”

n If you are affected by the line and would like to speak to HS2 direct, you can call their helpdesk on 08081 434434.

Newton HS2 protests, residents at the latest consultation meeting

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